Written Works


Charognards et Cerfs-Volants, Faits et Dits, Editions de l’Aire, Vevey, 1998, 310 pages.

This text is born out of a travel journal kept meticulously during his time in Brazil. The journal as such was destroyed, being metamorphosed into an interaction of facts and sayings organised by theme. It is more an expression of initiatory development than a travel narrative. Jean Hirtzel proposes a condensation of visions, sensations, rhythms, gaps, cries, and savagery where reality and the imaginary intermingle. A book of intense research, in which scavengers and kites roam the Brazilian sky, that also offers the reader messages of death, eroticism, and rebirth. 

Tsiganes, si par hasard... Récits, Editions de l’Aire, Vevey, 2007, 299 pages. Illustrated with drawings and photographs by Jean Hirtzel.

This book unites five texts extracted from a number of writings that Jean Hirtzel dedicated to his experience with the Roma, Gypsies, Tzigane, and Yeniche. The book’s drawings and photographs open up on the artist’s creative intimacy, whose gaze captures “live” the however fleeting intensity of the moment, thus giving access to the sources themselves of his work. The texts go beyond the usual evocations on the Tzigane and reveal a strong complicity between the artist and the Nomads. Choice of texts and presentation by Madeleine Hirtzel.


Journals, poems, notes, reflections, and various fictional pieces make up the writings that Jean Hirtzel wrote throughout his daily work as an artist. Many of these manuscripts are still to be inventoried and transcribed.