([Los Angeles]: Kanthos Press, 1963). 430 x 320 mm. (17 1/4 x 12 3/4").  leaves.Edited and translated by John Ciardi. Book designed by Leonard Baskin. One of 2,000 copies.
Publisher's black buckram, gilt lettering on upper cover and flat spine. In the original gray cardboard slipcase. With 36 lithographs in black & white by Rico Lebrun, and FOUR ORIGINAL, SIGNED LITHOGRAPHS laid in at front. List of plates also laid in at front. In mint condition.
In this series of lithographs, Italian-American artist Rico Lebrun captures the essence of souls in torment: distorted, faceless human bodies writhing in misery, trapped in their own sins, eternally distanced from God, forever without hope. Born in Naples, Lebrun (1900-64) immigrated to the United States at age 24, and built a successful but unsatisfying career as a commercial artist. In 1938 he gave up business and moved to Southern California to create and teach art. His artistic influences include the Italian Renaissance masters, particularly Michelangelo, and the darker, tragic vision of Spanish artists, particularly Goya and Picasso. Strains of both can be seen here, in the sculptural quality of the bodies and the overall sense of foreboding. This series was among the last works Lebrun completed before his death from cancer, perhaps intensifying the awareness of mortality in the work. The Kanthos Press was founded by printmaker Joe Funk (1917-81) in 1962, at a time when there were few lithographers operating in the U.S. He is credited with helping to preserve and promote that medium, which was in danger of dying out in mid-20th century America. (ST15816-24)
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PJP Catalog: FinePress.009