Sunday, July 14, 2013

Aristophanes' Lysistrata Illustrated by Picasso

Having recently come across this book—a book I had never heard of before and feared I'd never again come across (it cost $85)—I felt duty-bound to at least photograph as much of it as I could before I pissed off the guy behind the counter.

The book is a part of the Limited Editions Club.  As AbeBooks explains, "The Limited Editions Club of New York was started in 1929 by George Macy. At 29-years-old, he was an avid reader who wanted to make his living from books. His business revolved around publishing beautifully illustrated classic titles in relatively small quantities with club members paying a subscription."

For more information, also check out: The Limited Editions Club & Heritage Press Imagery Blog

From the accompanying pamphlet:
"[Picasso] is a charming person to talk with, a horrifyingly difficult person to do business with.  It is probably that only the fact that we suggested a book he liked caused him to undertake the commission.
'When I first got in touch with Picasso in Paris, he said he was willing to illustrate the book for a very stiff price.  I agreed.  I was in Paris again when Picasso had finished the plates, and I sought to take them from his apartment.  But he insisted on treating the transaction on a no-trust basis.  He made me send to America for the money with which to pay him; he made me hand him the actual cash with my left hand while he handed me the plates with his left hand.'"

Some sample illustrations:
"Five days later, in the same place. Late afternoon."
"Kinesias: A plague on the war. It's you I'm after."
"Lysistrata: Henceforth, the war's a woman's business."

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