The original manuscript of “Le petit Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, exhibited for the first time in France in 2022

From the 17th February until 26 June 2022, the Museum of Decorative Arts (MAD) will host an unprecedented exhibition on The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The original manuscript, kept in New York, will cross the Atlantic for this sole occasion, thus following in the footsteps of its illustrious author.

Notice to those whose childhood – if not their whole life – was rocked by this philosophical tale born from the imagination of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, one of the most beautiful pen of the French language of the 20th century and beyond. An unprecedented exhibition around the Little Prince is about to settle in Paris, presenting for the first time in France the original manuscript illustrated by Saint-Exupéry. Written in New York in 1943 during his exile in the United States, The Little Prince was published posthumously in 1946, the writer having disappeared at sea in July 1944, while on a reconnaissance mission off Marseille in aboard his Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Saint-Exupéry was a great aviator, and his literary work was largely nourished by his adventures and aerial thoughts, giving birth to masterpieces such as Night Flight (1929), Courrier Sud (1931) or Terre of Men (1939). When it was published, The Little Prince became an international success. It is now translated into more than 400 languages, making it the most translated book of all time… after the Bible.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Première édition du Petit Prince, 1943
Reynal & Hitchcock, New York (en français)
© Fondation JMP pour LPP

The MAD exhibition will thus devote an entire room to the manuscript of The Little Prince, exceptionally on loan from the Morgan Library & Museum in New York. When Saint-Exupéry left to fight in North Africa in the spring of 1943, he entrusted his manuscript and his watercolors to his friend Silvia Hamilton, who sold the whole to the New York institution in 1968. Around the famous manuscript, the exhibition will present a series of sketches, preparatory drawings, photographs, poems and deploys a library of 120 foreign editions of The Little Prince, testifying to its unstoppable universality. But above all, it will be an opportunity to retrace the immense career of Saint-Exupéry through more than 600 pieces illustrating all the facets of his work. From his childhood to his adventures as a pilot for Aéropostale and his great reports, passing through his passion for drawing, the exhibition will finally endeavor to detect in the life and exploits of Saint-Exupéry the premises of the Little Prince. , whose humanist message irrigates all the writings.

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