Philadelphia & Toronto: John C. Winston Company, 1947. Item #04669
Arthur Szyk Illustrates The Ten Commandments
SZYK, Arthur, illustrator. The Ten Commandments. Philadelphia & Toronto: John C. Winston Company, . First trade edition.
Small quarto (9 15/16 x 7 1/2 inches; 253 x 190 mm.). 32 unnumbered French-folded pages. Each of the Ten Commandments illustrated with a full page color drawing.
Publisher's gray cloth with color pictorial design on front and rear covers, flat spine lettered in gilt. A near fine copy.
Arthur Szyk (1894-1951) was a Polish-Jewish artist who worked primarily as a book illustrator and political artist throughout his career. Arthur Szyk was born into a prosperous middle-class Jewish family in ód , in the part of Poland which was under Russian rule in the 19th century. An acculturated Polish Jew, Szyk always proudly regarded himself both as a Pole and a Jew.From 1921, he lived and created his works mainly in France and Poland, and in 1937 he moved to the United Kingdom. In 1945, Arthur Szyk and his family moved from New York City to New Canaan, Connecticut where he lived till the end of his life. The end of the war released him from the duty to fight Nazism through his caricatures; a large collection of drawings from the war period was published by the Heritage Press in 1946 in book form as Ink and Blood: A Book of Drawings. The artist returned to book illustrations, working for example on The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and, most notably, books telling Bible stories, such as Pathways through the Bible by Mortimer J. Cohen (1946), The Book of Job (1946), The Book of Ruth (1947), The Ten Commandments (1947), The Story of Joseph and his Brothers (1949). Some of the books illustrated by Szyk were also published posthumously, including The Arabian Nights Entertainments (1954) and The Book of Esther (1974). He was also commissioned by Canadian entrepreneur and stamp connoisseur, Kasimir Bileski, to create illustrations for the Visual History of Nations (or United Nations) series of stamps; though the project never came to fruition, Szyk did design stamp album frontispieces for more than a dozen countries, including the United States, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Israel.