EXCEPTIONAL FIRST FOUR ISSUES OF VERVE, AMERICAN EDITIONS, 1937-39, WITH EXHIBITION-SIZE COLOR LITHOGRAPHS BY MATISSE, PICASSO AND OTHERS, AND FEATURING THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF WORKS BY JOYCE AND HEMINGWAY
TÉRIADE, Efstratios (ELEFTHERIADES, Efstratios). Verve. Volume 1, Numbers 1-4 (December 1937 to January-March 1939). Paris: (Imprimerie des Beaux-Arts), 1937-1939. Thick folio, contemporary patterned cloth. $4800.
First American editions of the first four issues of Verve, published in Paris from 1937-1939, featuring cover art by Matisse, Braque, Bonnard and Rouault, original lithographs by Picasso, Léger, Miró, Chagall, Maillol, Derain, Kandinsky and Klee, along with numerous héliogravure photographs (including Man Ray, Bill Brandt and Brassaï), first appearances of select writings by Hemingway and Joyce, and articles by Lorca, Dos Passos, Sartre, Gide, Bataille, Malraux and Valéry. Assembled in a single folio volume with the four original lithographic front covers bound in.
"Fifty years ago in Paris, the magazine to look for was Verve, which first came out in December 1937 and kept going in one form or another till 1960. That first cover (by Henri Matisse) sang out from the other side of the street in a way that made us run across the road to look at it more closely. And when we turned its pages, Verve had a bosomy, full-fleshed, slightly slithery quality that this former subscriber would know in his sleep" (John Russell). Art critic Efstratios Eleftheriades, under the nom de plume "Tériade," founded Verve, with the financial assistance of David Smart, publisher of Esquire. "The magazine, a quarterly review of arts and letters, was lavish in design and challenging in content. Teriade's view of the world of art and literature was personal, bold and compelling" (Rick Gagliano). Once called "the most beautiful magazine in the world," Verve contained original lithographs by the most famous artists of the day— Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Miró, Chagall— many of which appearing here for the first time. The premiere issue of Verve, in addition to its original cover by Matisse, features original lithographs by Miró and Léger, photographs by Man Ray and Brassaï, articles by Matisse, Gide, Dos Passos and Garcia Lorca, previously unpublished letters and drawings by Cézanne, and the first printed illustration of Picasso's Guernica. The second issue, with its original lithographic front cover by Braque, includes original lithographs by Kandinsky and Masson, photographs by Bill Brandt and Brassaï, and the first publication of Hemingway's The Heat and the Cold, together with his piece on the filming of The Spanish Earth that was later included in the book The Spanish Earth (1938), as well as the first appearance of James Joyce's Phoenix Park Nocturne. Number 3, with an original front cover by Bonnard, offers original lithographs by Chagall, Miró, Rattner and Klee, together with articles by such leading French writers as Valéry, Malraux, Claudel and Bataille. The culminating issue in this exceptional collection features an original lithographic front cover by Rouault, an original double-page lithograph of Matisse's The Dance, photographs by Brandt and Brassaï, and articles by Michaux, Garcia Lorca, and Sartre. First American edition, published same year as the French, with text translated into English by Robert Sage. Hanneman C278. Slocum C93. See also Slocum C70, C90.
Plates and text fine, wear to extremities of cloth, spine mildly toned. A lovely copy.