80 years of publishing

Founded in 1947, Éditions Mazenod began by publishing an outstanding series of monographs, La Galerie des Hommes Célèbres, edited by leading literary figures, as well as a series of famous titles coordinated by Raymond Queneau, Les Oeuvres Célèbres.

In 1965 the firm launched an imprint called L’Art et les Grandes Civilisations, the first title of which was André Leroi-Gourhan’s Préhistoire de l’art occidental (Treasures of Prehistoric Art, New York: Abrams, 1967). Leroi-Gourhan’s book transformed the concept of “art book,” and has been regularly updated ever since.  Meanwhile, the imprint steadily built up a collection of titles unique to the French publishing scene, calling upon the finest writers—both French and foreign—and thereby earning a prestigious name in the world of art history.

The firm subsequently played an original role within art publishing in France thanks to the singular strength of two parallel, complementary distribution networks—bookstores and direct sales—which permitted print-runs unmatched by competitors. The house’s reputation soon spread to the rest of Europe and even the United states, resulting in the publication of editions in English, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.

In 1984, following the departure of Lucien Mazenod, François de Waresquiel took over the reins of the firm. A new impetus was given to the house, which within a few years took on the symbolic name of Citadelles & Mazenod, combining a concern for quality and tradition with a quest for innovation. Over the years, various imprints were launched, enriching and rejuvenating company’s heritage. When de Waresquiel arrived, Mazenod was publishing just one book a year—a unique case in France—whereas today ten to twelve titles are issued annually, all produced with the same concern for solid intellectual content and impeccable fabrication.
Citadelles & Mazenod today employs some sixty people, with an annual turnover of approximately six million euros. The first independent art publisher in France, Citadelles & Mazenod has retained its rank as France’s leading publisher of art books.

Year after year, Citadelles & Mazenod respects its original editorial commitments:
– To specialize in synoptic overviews written and designed to be useful to teachers, specialists, and curators, yet also accessible to a wider readership.
– To produce books in the finest craft tradition, paying keen attention to technical qualities and details.
– To publish a limited number of titles that favors the survival of a vital collection that can be constantly updated and republished.

As the new millennium gets underway, Citadelles & Mazenod continues to publish a modest number of books with an unflagging concern for quality. Every book is designed to be a landmark in the sphere of publishing as well as in the realm of art history.


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