c. 250 (according to the artist), of which there are 3 known impressions
This composition was created as a 1944 holiday card. It was printed at a commercial printshop.
From 1938—1946, Bourgeois made her own printed holiday cards. In the late decades of her life, she again turned to prints as holiday gifts for a small circle of friends.
Bourgeois explained that this holiday card of 1944 commemorated the landing of the Allies in Normandy during World War II, and she identified her depiction of the map of the Normandy coast. "Usually the light comes from the east... The miracle was, on that particular day, it came from the west."
Bourgeois had left her family in France in 1938 to come to New York with her new American husband. Feelings about the war fought in Europe were intense for her. She explained: "The runaway thinks about the people she left." This "increased the feeling of wanting to do something for them. It was wishful thinking. I felt helpless to do anything."
Bourgeois translated the lines at the top of the card, which she remembers as having been written by the French Surrealist poet Paul Éluard (1895–1952): "These nights do you remember when the night covers us / The night which comes from the heart and knows no morning". She translated her answer, located in the lower portion: "The sixth of June. / The darkness lifted up and we saw the light / coming from the West"; beneath that she added: "Best wishes for Christmas / and the New Year". (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 38.)
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