Genesis was printed at the legendary Curwen Press and published by Nonesuch in 1924 in a limited edition of only 375 copies. Produced during a period when Nash regarded himself as ‘a war artist without a war’, it is now recognised as a high point in his artistic output and one of the most significant illustrated books of the twentieth century.
’I have tried perhaps impossible things . . .’
To accompany the Creation story described in the opening chapter of the Book of Genesis, Nash cut a series of twelve wood engravings of astonishing power. Starting with a solid black evocation of The Void, his stark images gradually emerge from primordial darkness into divine light, dynamic semi-abstract forms evoking the mystery of the appearance of the universe at God’s command. Facing these brooding wood engravings is the King James version of the text, stripped of punctuation, and printed in Rudolf Koch’s monumental Neuland typeface – used here for the first time in England – the rough-hewn characters deliberately chosen to match the force of Nash’s dark engravings, image and text uniting to create a modernist ‘Block book’.
Because of the heavy black illustrations and text, the pages were originally doubled over as ‘French folds’ to avoid distracting show-through. This unusual design feature has been recreated along with the book’ stunning binding and its notoriously fragile orange dust wrapper. The result is a painstaking facsimile with the impact of the original of this extraordinary volume nearly 100 years after it was produced.
28 pages, set in Rudolf Koch’s Neuland type, with 12 wood-engravings by Paul Nash. Bound in black cloth blocked in gold. Orange paper dust wrapper printed in black ink in facsimile of the original. Because of the heavy black illustrations and text, the pages are doubled over as ‘French folds’ to avoid distracting show-through. Reproduced from the first edition, this book has been printed on Corolla Book Laid Ivory paper.
Accompanying the facsimile is an essay by Sebastian Carter, formerly of the Rampant Lions Press, now editor of Parenthesis, the Journal of the Fine Press Book Association. This specially commissioned piece gives essential background to the original publication and is printed in Caslon on Corolla Book Laid Ivory paper.
The solander presentation box is covered in smooth rust brown Surbalin paper and lined with Zanders Efalin wove in dark brown. The front and spine are blocked in gold foil and the front board is inset with a title label printed in black with an illustration by Paul Nash on Corolla Book Laid Ivory paper.
About Paul Nash
Paul Nash (1889–1946) was a visionary painter, photographer and printmaker. He is best known for the iconic images he produced as an official war artist during both the First and Second World Wars – the total devastation of ‘We Are Making a New World’ (1918) and the sea of mangled German aircraft depicted in ‘Totes Meer’ (1941) – and for his later mystical landscapes. Nash was also a pioneer of modernism in British art, a founder member of the influential avant-garde group Unit One, and one of the organisers of the groundbreaking International Surrealist Exhibition of June 1936.
A limited edition published to commemorate the poet’s death in April 1917 and designed to emulate the fine press editions of the early 20th century. In series with Selected Poems Rupert Brooke and Selected Poems Wilfred Owen.
One of the most beautiful and beloved books of the Private Press movement, and a showcase for Eric Gill’s engravings and typeface, The Four Gospels is reproduced as an exquisite new Folio Society edition.