Wednesday , September 28 2022

Saved for 30 years … Little Prince's preparatory drawings found in an old building


Preparing for the History of the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is found in an ancient building in northern Switzerland where a real estate mogul has stored them in tens of thousands of works of art.

The cartoons, purchased more than 30 years ago at auction in Switzerland, were stored in cardboard and in "very good condition," said Elizabeth Grossman, head of Winterthur Foundation for the Arts, Culture and History.

The box included three drawings related to the little prince, one on the vineyards on his planet, another on the snake that adopts an elephant with posts, and a third on the little prince and the fox, as well as a poem with a small drawing and a love letter addressed to Consuelo, the wife of de Saint-Exupery.


Collector Bruno Stefanini, who died in December 2018 at the age of 94, bought these products at an auction in Beauvais (Western Switzerland) in 1986. His art collection is one of the largest in Switzerland, and in 1980 he created this Winterthur institution to manage his legacy.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote The Little Prince in New York during the war and attached it to his watercolor paintings. The book was first published in New York in 1943, then in France in 1946, following the disappearance of the pilot off the coast of Marseille on July 31, 1944.

De Saint-Exupéry spent two years in Friborg (central Switzerland), from 1915 to 1917.

The original drawings of his book are stored at the Morgan Library in New York.

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