THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


111 Henri Matisse 1869-1954
Etched plates for the illustrations to James Joyce's Ulysses
Four copperplates, various sizes (10.5 x 8.25 to 11 x 8.5 inches), 1934
In 1935 The Limited Editions Club, under the directorship of George Macy, published a monumental edition of James Joyce's Ulysses with illustrations by Henri Matisse. The editors agreed that so modern a book as Ulysses ought to be illustrated by a modern artist of stature equal to Joyce. They asked Matisse who prepared twenty preliminary drawings and six etchings, all of which were reproduced in the edition and show the simplification of motifs so characteristic of the artist's work. Matisse did not attempt to evoke the Dublin setting of the novel; instead, he based his illustrations on six episodes in Homer's Odyssey that find their counterparts in Joyce's Ulysses. The four original etched plates in the collection illustrate the "Calypso," "Polyphemus," "Circe" and "Ithaca" episodes in the novel.
Gift of Helen Macy

Collections and Treasures