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The exceptional edition, in only 145 copies, was the first publication of the new-born Skira, and was soon followed by the Poems of Mallarme with 29 original etchings by Henri Matisse and Les Chants de Maldoror illustrated by Salvador Dali with 42 etchings. For the 90th anniversary of the publishing house, Skira issued an anastatic copy of the work, slightly different in format and in agreement with the Picasso Estate. The volume boasts 412 pages including the etchings (15) both in and outside the text (15). The facsimile is perfect.
The volume is in 24 × 30.5 cm format. It is a hardcover edition with paper foil stamping, just like the first edition in 1931. The work is contained in a box that, with the Metamorphoses , also bears an illustrated insert in English narrating the birth and history of this legendary volume.
Ovid’s Metamorphoses in 11,995 verses and 15 books gather and re-elaborate over 250 Greek myths. It has been called an “encyclopaedia of classical mythology”.
Picasso’s etchings out of the text, focused on 15 myths, are of rare uniformity, in a style with clean edges and discrete eroticism. Instead, the etchings found at the start of the chapters do not relate to the text and portray faces, nude studies and a delightful litotes of the female body (27th etching).
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