1927 · Paris
Quarto (7 1/4" x 9 5/8" x 1 5/8') . Original wrappers. Two vols. Volume of text, with album ofseparate full-page plates in black and white. Text: 139 pages. With 15 color wood-engravings horstexteen colors. Spine of text volume very slightly faded; Plates in original glassine; in foldingchemise. With original open board case.
The illustrator Boris Zworkine [or Zvorkin or Zworkin] (B. Moscow 1872, D. Paris 1942.) wasone of the founders of the Russian style of modern European book illustration. His work has beencompared to Ivan Bilibin’s and to Vasily Ivanovich Shukhaev’s (1887-1973), a Russian“neo-Romantic” artist living also living in Paris. The young Zworkine studied at the MoscowSchool of Painting and Sculpture and later, and supported himself by doing commercial projectsand decorative gifts and wall art on Russian themes. He left Russian in 1921, went to Egypt andthen to Paris, which was then the center of Russian cultural life in Western Europe. In 1922, hebegan his association with the publisher Henri Piazza*
D.Y. Severyukhin writing in Art_investment.ru chronicles Boris Zworkin’s life in detail thenconcludes of this edition of Boris Godounov: “the artist demonstrates an impressive possessionof ornamental art...the subtle weaving of patterns, mottled clothing, characters, floor carpets....[whichare]...organically connected with the three-dimensional and very realistic representation of space andcare of detail in the pictures.” Severyukhin calls particular attention to the portrait of BorisGodounov in both the color and black and white versions done in a style of engraved portraits thatoriginated in Moscovy at the time of Ivan the Terrible [16 century]. The format of this edition is thcompared to those of Editions de la Pléiade published by Jacques Schffrin (who worked forPiazza before starting his own publishing company in 1922).
“All (Zwokine’s) work is based on the strict preservation of the style of a certain period. ..especiallyof Russia.” (Severyukhin quoting The Studio magazine vol 93, pp. 188-191, 1927 review by M.Blumenfeld of Boris Godounov.)
*The publisher Jules Henri Piazza (1861-1929) was one of the pioneers of the limited edition artbook in Paris beginning with L'Estampe moderne in 1899. Piazza was founder in 1922, of Le Livrefrançais, “ société d'édition de chefs-d'śuvre français du conte et du roman en éditions de luxeaccessibles au grand public.”
Ref: http://forum.artinvestment.ru/blog.php?b=4872 (Inventory #: 1293)