7 June 2006
JOYCE, James (1882-1941) and MATISSE, Henri (1869-1954). Ulysses, with an introduction by Stuart Gilbert. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1935.
4° (296 x 230mm), top edge cut and sprinkled brown, text printed in black in double columns, running title and pagination printed in brown, with six full-page etchings and twenty accompanying sketches on yellow and blue paper by Henri Matisse. Publisher's brown buckram upper cover block in gilt with a design by LeRoy H. Appleton, spine blocked in gilt (minor loss of gilt from cover design, front hinge broken).
Number 960 of 1500 copies SIGNED BY MATISSE. A unique collaboration between one of the finest authors and one of the finest artists of the twentieth century. Matisse chose to base his etchings on Homer's Odyssey, depicting the Calypso, Aelous, Cyclops, Nausicaa, Circe and Ithaca episodes of the poem. When asked why he had not illustrated the events of Joyce's novel, he replied: 'Je ne l'ai pas lu' ('I have not read it'; Ellmann, 686). Nevertheless, his etchings for this edition are outstanding examples of his art, offsetting strong, neo-classical figure drawing with a sparing use of half tone. Matisse's preparatory sketches -- between two and five for each etching, printed on yellow and blue sheets of various sizes -- are in several cases very different from the finished image. Slocum & Cahoon A22.
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