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 acetate, custom slipcase with original spine laid down. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
First illustrated edition of Joyce’s landmark Ulysses, number 976 of 1500 copies signed by Matisse. One of the 20th-century’s most desirable illustrated books, combining the work of two great modern artists. An exceptionally fine copy.
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). Slocum & Cahoun A22. LEC 71. Evidence of bookplate removal.
A fine signed copy.