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Satanu. Basen. (Satan. A Poem)
Prague: The artist (Vrsovice: L.P.) 1926 - Published in an edition of 17 copies, this is a highly dramatic work illustrating the eponymous poem by Carducci (1835-1907), noted poet, historian and politician. SATANU is a magnificent work in large format (59 x 34 cm) with 11 full-page hand-colored woodcuts and 3 smaller linocuts, also in color. Váchal made the paper by hand, created the 1000 printed characters of his own making, and printed it in his studio in the Prague district of Vrsovice. The book is signed in the colophon and numbered by three thumbprints and four fingerprints, making this the seventh copy. Vachal presents us with a series of visual meditations that are some of his strongest, including an abstraction with alchemical symbols and possibly one of the most remarkable busts of the Lord of Darkness in the frontispiece. The artist was a lover of fine literature and poetry, and Carducci provides ample catalytic power in his strong declaration of free thought and personal autonomy for the individual. This book was published in the period of what could be considered the zenith of Váchal’s output (1918-1933) and is one of his undisputed masterworks. This copy is unbound as issued. There is light offsetting as usual on the Title. This book was handmade by Váchal and, as was his general custom, issued in loose sheets to his buyers who would take it as is and have them bound if desired. Váchal did not normally bind his private printing, doing so in very few cases such as with the mammoth ŠUMAVA, and even then only three or four out of the full edition of eleven. Each of Váchal´s private works may be considered unique and differ from the works destined for larger publication which were normally bound and more consistent (“larger” publications usually ran between 75 and 150 copies). Often one finds slight variations between one and another copy, just as his work was subject to spontaneous elements ad libitum. It is unquestionably noted as a book production in the catalogue raisonné. References: JOSEF VÁCHAL, a catalogue raisonné. Prague: Argestea, 1994. Catalogue K20, page 457; illustrated pp. 331-333. [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy]
      [Bookseller: Michael Fagan Fine Art & Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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