Description

    A Nearly Complete Run of Verve Magazine

    [Art]. Verve. An Artistic and Literary Quarterly Appearing in December, March, June and October. [Paris]: E. Teriade, 1937-1960]. First editions, mixed English and French issues. [With]: The Intimate Sketchbooks of G. Braque. [Paris: Verve, 1955]. Together, twenty-three issues (of twenty-six), in thirty-five (of thirty-eight parts), in twenty-nine quarto volumes (some issues of Verve were issued with multiple parts in a single issue; the number of volumes given includes the Intimate Sketchbooks of G. Braque). This set lacks issue 17-18 as well as issue 23. This set has several duplicate issues (parts 2, 5-6, 8, 19-20, 21-22, and 24). The following issues are the English-language issue (1 - 5-6 (both copies of issue 2, and one of issue 5-6), 8, and the Sketchbooks of G. Braque), the remainder are the French issue. The following volumes are in the original wrappers: 1, 2-5-6 (one issue of 5-6), 8, 19-20 (one issue), and 24. The other volumes are bound in later full vellum, covers and spines ruled in gilt, gilt numbers on spines brown gilt morocco lettering labels (most of which have original covers bound-in). Issues in wrappers are generally good (a few early issues worn with loose pages), issues in vellum are generally near fine (with some soiling or mild wear). Overall, a very good, nearly complete set with beautiful illustrations and lithographs.Verve was founded by Greek expatriate Efstatios Eleftheriades in partnership with David Smart, then publisher of "Coronet" and "Esquire" in the United States. Smart's aim was to create "the most beautiful magazine on earth."

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    To this end he would provide the capital, and Tériade as managing director had carte blanche to provide the content. Tériade's own aims are best explained by quoting the manifesto which appeared in issue No. 1: "Verve is devoted to artistic creation in all fields and all forms...Verve will utilize the technical methods best suited to each reproduction. It will call upon the best specialists in heliogravure in colours and in black and white, as well as typography, and will not disdain the forgotten process of lithography."

    To satisfy his agreement with Smart, the first four issues of Verve appeared within a year. These issues established the unique Verve look of exuberant eclecticism where a 15th century tapestry would sit opposite a painting of Delacroix's or Ceylonese demons opposite the latest Matisse drawings or Mathew Brady's photographs along with Andre Derain's portraits. These unlikely juxtapositions were hypnotically held together by Verve's sumptuous design, production and printing. Tériade drew liberally on all of art history as well as contemporary artists for Verve's contents and a random selection of contributors for these issues would include--James Joyce, Alberto Giacometti, Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Jarry, Georges Bataille, Rabindranath Tagore, Federico García Lorca, Paul Valéry, Andre Gide, Man Ray, Bill Brandt, John Dos Passos, Henri Michaux, Georges Rouault, Brassaï. Tériade also maintained his bias for lithography and these issues contain original prints specially produced for the magazine by Marc Chagall, André Masson, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Wassily Kadinsky and Ferdinand Leger.



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