1923 · Berlin-Charlottenburg
Ryback's powerful images were created as a memorial to the Jewish villages ("shtetlekh") - including his hometown - that were destroyed in pogroms in the aftermath of the disastrous WWI campaign and the Russian Civil War. They depict the peaceful daily life of a traditional Jewish shtetl before the upcoming destructions and massacres: a city street, the artisans (including a shoemaker, a tailor and a knife-sharpener), musicians, the market, the synagogue, a wedding, a funeral, the Jewish cemetery, the rabbi and the Hasidic rebbe. The images here show Cubist and Expressionist influences, and are in many instances reminiscent of the work of Marc Chagall, but are more solemn in tone overall.
The lithographs measure 10 3/4 x 15", and are all dated 1917 in the stone. Of the 30 half-tone plates (Title + plates numbered from III-XXXI), four are printed in bistre, and the others in sepia or black.
This book is complete with its original list of plates inserted at rear. Title and captions in Yiddish.
Front cover lightly rubbed along edges, with minor scratches and abrasions to the velvet. Minor sunning to edges of the front cover. Starting at the gutters of the interior covers. Interior with light to moderate foxing throughout. Foxing to the plates is mostly confined to the margins, with most images still quite clean and vibrant. Inscribed to a previous owner on the half-title page. Binding in very good-, interior in good condition overall. (Inventory #: 49036)