Les metamorphoses: Illustrated with Etchings by Pablo Picasso
In 1931, with the help of Jacqueline Apollinaire and at the suggestion of Pierre Matisse, a young Swiss publisher named Albert Skira contacted Pablo Picasso and convinced him to illustrate a French translation of Ovids Metamorphoses. Picasso, in the midst of a personal reengagement with a Mediterranean classical heritage, produced a body of 30 spare, economical etchings, depicting the mythical figures of classical antiquity as elegantly violent and discreetly erotic entangled lines.
Skira and Picassos collaboration produced an exceptional book published in an edition of only 145 copies. The first publication of the newly formed Skira Editore publishing house, it was soon followed by the Poems of Mallarmé with 29 original etchings by Henri Matisse, and Lautréamonts Les Chants de Maldoror illustrated with 42 etchings by Salvador Dalí.
On the occasion of Skira Editores 90th anniversary, the publishing house, in collaboration with the Picasso Estate, is issuing a facsimile of the Picasso edition of Les Métamorphoses, now nearly mythical in art and publishing history. This boxed hardbound volume with hot-foil embossing features 15 of Picassos etchings laid out at the start of each chapter and 15 etchings interspersed within the texts 412 pages. Published in an edition of 1,000 numbered copies, it is accompanied by an illustrated brochure, in English, narrating the history of this legendary book.