In 1931, a young Albert Skira, only 25 years old and upon the suggestion of Pierre Matisse, convinced Pablo Picasso to illustrate Ovid’s Metamorphoses with 30 etchings. For its 90th anniversary, in agreement with the Picasso Estate, Skira Publishers has produced a stunning facsimile in an edition of just 1,000 copies. The volume has 412 pages including 15 etchings in the text and 15 outside the text.
The facsimile is exactly like the original 1931 first edition (a copy of which sold for $68,000 at auction in 2008. The work is contained in a box with an additional illustrated brochure detailing the history of this legendary volume.
Ovid’s Metamorphoses in 11,995 verses and 15 books gather and re-elaborate over 250 Greek myths. They have been called an “encyclopaedia of classical mythology”.
Picasso’s 15 etchings printed on separate pages from the text are of rare uniformity, in a style with clean edges and discreet eroticism. In addition are another 15 etchings by Picasso, printed alongside text at the start of the chapters, which portray faces and nude studies.
The book was printed on Picasso’s 50th birthday and was described as being “of almost Doric beauty”.
Language: like the original edition, in French, with introduction in English. Facsimile numbered edition of 1,000 copies published by Skira, 2018
24 x 30.5 cm, 408 pages, 30 black & white plates