(New York: Limited Editions Club, 1935). 305 x 241 mm. (12 x 9 1/2"). xv, [iii], 363,  pp.Introduction by Stuart Gilbert. No. 928 of 1,500 Copies, SIGNED BY MATISSE.
Publisher's original brown buckram, embossed in gilt and titled on front cover and on flat spine, the decorations from a design by LeRoy H. Appleton. In a fine maroon morocco-backed clamshell box. WITH 26 ILLUSTRATIONS BY HENRI MATISSE, depicting the Calypso, Aeolus, Cyclops, Nausicaa, Circe, and Ithaca episodes from Homer's "Odyssey." Slocum & Cahoon A-22; Quarto-Millenary 71; "The Artist and the Book" 197. In mint condition.
This is an immaculate copy of the only book illustrated by Matisse to be published in America, and one of the great collaborations of artist and author in the annals of 20th century private press publication. In the opinion of art publisher Monroe Wheeler, "it was a great idea to bring [Joyce and Matisse] together" since they were "celebrities of the same generation, of similar virtuosity." Newman says that this work and the Limited Editions Club "Lysistrata" "stand as landmarks in the history of the illustrated book," and that "Ulysses" is almost certainly the most famous work among LEC publications designed by George Macy. Matisse's illustrations are curious in that they were based not on "Ulysses," a work the artist had not read when he was asked to make etchings for the text, but on Homer's "Odyssey," from which Joyce's book obviously derives. "Following Matisse's wishes, the preparatory studies were grouped in front of each corresponding print, allowing the viewer to see the progression from sketch to finished composition." (Grolier Club Exhibition) Joyce was furious when he learned that Matisse had chosen to illustrate scenes from Homer rather than from his work, and as a consequence, he stopped signing the present LEC printing in a fit of pique, after affixing his signature to 250 copies (whereas Matisse signed them all). While the illustrations justly receive the lion's share of attention, Macy's choices of typography and layout make this perhaps the most readable edition of Joyce's notoriously difficult text that we have encountered. Although the LEC edition of "Ulysses" is far from a rare book in the marketplace, it is difficult to obtain in the virtually mint condition seen here. (ST16333)
Add to Cart Price: $7,500.00
PJP Catalog: ABA1stNov20.018