Le chant des morts
Author: Pierre Reverdy (1889 - 1960)
Artist: Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)
Publisher: Tériade éditeur
Picasso had known Reverdy since 1910, and probably met the publisher in 1926. Le chant de morts was published by Tériade, a Greek whose real name was Eleftratios Tériades. He was one of the most prominent publishers of artists' books, publishing the famous magazine Verve, among others, and collaborating with Matisse, Chagall, Léger and Miró. Innovation was important to Tériade; he produced very colourful books at a time when black-and-white lithographs were most common, and released books in extremely large sizes. He was also one of the first to reproduce handwritten texts as lithographs. His collaboration with Picasso remained limited to this title, but the book is still regarded as one of the most striking entries in Tériades' list of publications (along with Jazz by Matisse). The balance between Reverdy's calligraphy and Picasso's blood-red arabesques was characterised by the publisher as follows: 'It is as though they are having a conversation.'
About the handwriting of Picasso and Reverdy
Author Bregje Hofstede wrote about the handwriting of Picasso and that of Reverdy. Her contribution is available on request. Please contact Paul van Capelleveen.
Description: Le chant des morts : poèmes / Pierre Reverdy ; lithographies originales de Pablo Picasso. - Paris : Tériade éditeur, 1948. - 117 p. : ill. ; 43 cm
Printer: Draeger frères (text) Mourlot frères (lithographs)
Edition: 270 copies
This copy: Number 206 of 250 on Arches
Note: Signed by author and artist
Bibliography: Bénézit 10-873 ; Castleman 129 ; Johnson 70 ; Monod 9676 ; Strachan 340
Shelfmark: KW Koopm E 37
- Brigitte Baer, Picasso, peintre-graveur. Berne, Kornfeld, 1988
- Das Buch als Bild: Picasso 'illustriert'. Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 2002
- Paul van Capelleveen, Sophie Ham, Jordy Joubij, Voices and visions. The Koopman Collection and the Art of the French Book. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands; Zwolle, Waanders, 2009
- Paul van Capelleveen, Sophie Ham, Jordy Joubij, Voix et visions. La Collection Koopman et l'Art du Livre français. La Haye, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Bibliothèque nationale des Pays-Bas; Zwolle, Waanders, 2009
- Pierre Daix, Picasso créateur: La vie intime et l'œuvre. Paris, Seuil, 1987
- Rodney Swan, 'Turning point. The aesthetic genealogy of Picasso’s illustrations for Reverdy’s Le Chant des Morts’, in: Art and book. Illustration and innovation. Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2016, p. 85-104.
- Tériade & les livres de peintres. Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Musée Matisse, 2003