Ulysses by James Joyce and Henri Matisse
Limited Edition Club, 1935
Signed by James Joyce and Henri Matisse
Includes Original Slipcase and Custom Leather Clamshell Box
This is a signed limited edition of "Ulysses” published by the Limited Edition Club in 1935 with a limitation of 1500 copies this being number 244 and one of only 250 copies that were signed by both James Joyce and Henri Matisse. Considered by many to be one of the most desirable illustrated books of the twentieth century, this work combines the work of two of the greatest talents of the modern era. From the Henri Matisse website, “The illustration of James Joyce's Ulysses by Matisse may be one of the most suggestive collaborations in 20th-century literature. “It was a great idea to bring them together; celebrities of the same generation, of similar virtuosity”." 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. There have been surprisingly few attempts to illustrate "Ulysses" and, even where they do exist, they do not appear to have elicited much critical approval. The most notable illustrators have been Matisse, Saul Field and Richard Hamilton. “According to George Macy, who undertook this only American publication of Matisse’s illustrations, he asked the artist how many etchings the latter could provide for $5,000. 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.” Ulysses is one of the very few American livres de peintres issued before World War II. The prints were very well printed and are frequently included in books on Matisse and exhibitions of Matisse's works.”
The book is in FINE condition. Common problems with this title are cracking to the front hinge and discoloration to paper on the inside covers near the hinge areas with the slipcase normally found is disrepair with paper loss, surface wear and soiling. This copy was professionally restored by Jamie Kamph of the Stonehouse Bindery, Lambertville, New Jersey to deal with these issues by rehinging the book and cleaning up the hinge area as well as expertly repairing the slipcase which in now in Near FINE condition.
The book and slipcase are housed in a beautiful custom made leather clamshell box crafted by Jamie Kamph that features Oasis goatskin leather covers with gold gilting to match the design of the book with a Spanish marbled paper lining. Laid into the book is the original prospectus for Ulysses issued by the Limited Edition Club. Overall, this is an exceptional copy of one of the great illustrated works of the twentieth century signed by both James Joyce and Henri Matisse.
Photographs of the book, slipcase, custom-made clamshell box, signature and limitation page, and examples of the Matisse artwork from the book appear in the photograph section of the listing.