Henri MATISSE   |   James JOYCE

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JOYCE, James (MATISSE, Henri, illustrator). Ulysses. With an Introduction by Stuart Gilbert and Illustrations by Henri Matisse. New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1935. Large quarto, original gilt-stamped pictorial brown cloth, uncut. Housed in a custom cloth chemise and half morocco clamshell box.

First illustrated edition of Joyce’s landmark Ulysses, number 353 of only 250 copies (from a total edition of 1500) signed by both James Joyce and Henri Matisse. One of the 20th-century’s most desirable illustrated books, combining the work of two great modern artists. A fine copy.

One of the most arresting and intriguing 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). This copy is number 353 of 1500 copies, one of only 250 signed by both author and illustrator. Without original cardboard slipcase. Slocum & Cahoon A22. LEC 71.

A fine double-signed copy.

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