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“The Only American Publication With Original Picasso Etchings”

21. (PICASSO, Pablo) ARISTOPHANES.

Lysistrata.

New York, 1934. Slim quarto, original cream

boards, glassine, chemise, and slipcase.

$9200.

“If only we may stir so

amorous a feeling among the

men that they stand firm as

sticks, we shall indeed deserve

the name of peace-makers

among the Greeks.”

Signed limited edition, one of 1500 copies

signed by Picasso, with six original etchings

and 34 in-text lithographs. Aristophanes’ strik-

ing tale of a sex strike among Greek Women

was

banned by the Comstock Laws in the

United States beginning in 1873,

but tangled

with authorities for far longer and for different

reasons:

the ancient Greeks deemed it subver-

sive and banned its performance, just as their

modern descendants did in 1967 when the mil-

itary junta in control of Greece banned its per-

formance for its anti-war theme.

This landmark in the history of book illustra-

tion is “the only American publication with

original Picasso etchings, which are among

his most important in the classical style” (

The

Artist and the Book

226). Set in

Caslon type and printed on Rives

paper, this new version by Gilbert

Seldes was considered by publish-

er George Macy to be one of the

finest productions from his press.

Picasso’s classical illustrations are

characterized by their extraordi-

nary “purity of line and balance of compo-

sition” (Cramer). Light expert restoration to

slipcase and chemise only. Usual light wear to

glassine. Book fine.

26

BANNED BOOKS

Politics