SIGNED BY MATISSE: THE FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF ULYSSES
JOYCE, James and MATISSE, Henri. Ulysses. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1935. Large quarto, original gilt-stamped pictorial brown cloth, uncut, original slipcase. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $7500.
First illustrated edition of Joyce’s landmark Ulysses, number 1436 of 1500 copies signed by Matisse, with 26 illustrations by him, one of the 20th-century’s most desirable illustrated books, combining the work of two great modern artists.
One of the most arresting collaborations in 20th-century literature. "It was a great idea to bring them together; celebrities of the same generation, of similar virtuosity" (Wheeler, 15). The 26 beautiful full-page illustrations by Matisse accompany the text of Joyce's Ulysses, including six soft-ground etchings with reproductions of the sketches on blue and yellow paper. "One of the very few American livres de peintres issued before World War II. According to George Macy [this work's designer], who undertook this only American publication of Matisse's illustrations, he asked the artist how many etchings the latter could provide for $5000. The artist chose to take six subjects from Homer's Odyssey. The preparatory drawings reproduced with the soft-ground etchings (Matisse's only use of this medium) record the evolution of the figures from vigorous sketches to closely knit compositions" (Artist and the Book 197). Without scarce original acetate. Slocum & Cahoun A22. LEC 71. Evidence of bookplate removal.
Light wear and a few repairs to slipcase. Book fine.