“The Only American Publication With Original Picasso Etchings”
21. (PICASSO, Pablo) ARISTOPHANES.
New York, 1934. Slim quarto, original cream
boards, glassine, chemise, and slipcase.
“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
banned by the Comstock Laws in the
United States beginning in 1873,
with authorities for far longer and for different
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” (
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.