Ecclesiastes or, the Preacher handwritten and illuminated by Ben Shahn

Ecclesiastes or, the Preacher handwritten and illuminated by Ben Shahn

Regular price $ 22.00 $ 0.00

New York : Grossman publishers, 1971. Hardcover. Unpaginated ; illustrated ; 31 cm. Price clipped dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.

handwritten and illustrated by BEN SHAHN

This is a brilliant reproduction of one of the most beautiful deluxe limited editions produced in our time.

Fascinated since early childhood by the wisdom and beauty of the language of The Book of Ecclesiastes, Ben Shahn, the great contemporary artist, embarked upon the task of recreating this biblical masterpiece in pictorial terms. Himself a master calligrapher, Shahn lovingly copied the text by hand, decorated each of the twelve chapter headings from the Hebrew, and embellished the work with eight breathtakingly beautiful watercolors, which are surely among his most profound and deeply felt illustrations. The whole book is a continuous delight.

The result, first published in a strictly limited, hand-colored and signed edition, made publishing history and is today a collector's item.

This volume, destined for a wider public, is a faithful reproduction of the facsimile edition, a fitting tribute to the great artist who died in 1969. It has been produced in Paris by Trianon Press, publishers of the original edition, and no effort has been spared in the multi-color printings to capture the color and values pf the original, as many as twelve colors being used for several of the plates.

Ecclesiastes is part of our spiritual heritage and contains some of the finest and most moving passages in literature. This beautiful version, illustrated by a great contemporary artist, is a timely reminder of its ancient wisdom.

Of the sources which inspired him, Ben Shahn wrote:

My infatuation with this particular part of the Holy Writ probably goes back to my very early childhood when all biblical literature was such a vivid reality in Jewish families . . . When I grew up and was drawing and painting, I became enchanted with the language of Ecclesiastes, re-examined it and felt an overwhelming urge to celebrate its particular way of celebrating the Lord. I did a number of watercolors, often lettering under them such wonderful lines as ' Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?' Remembering and re-reading those lines, I am suddenly struck with a sense of revelation and ask myself whether that may not actually be the reason why I am an artist. (Extract from Ben Shahn's Foreword)

The book has been produced by the Trianon Press, who are the publishers of the now rare Blake facsimiles, which were described in The Times Literary Supplement as follows:—Nothing like these books is ever likely to appear again, and they will in the future be the treasures of libraries . . . The reproduction is beyond praise ... A degree of skill, knowledge and devotion has been brought to bear upon the production of this series that it would be idle to look for again. The same skill, knowledge and devotion are manifested in the reproduction of Ben Shahn's work.


Q: What are your shipping rates and do you ship overseas?

A: Free Shipping for U.S. buyer. Yes, we do ship worldwide and the price is $25 no matter how many books you buy. Head over to our Shipping page under the link column for further detail.

Q: Can you send me additional photographs of the book?

A: We are always happy to provide additional photographs of the book when a customer request them. Just send us an email via the contact us page.

Q: how do you ship your book? UPS, FedEx or USPS?

A: We primary use USPS but if requested we can ship with FedEx or UPS.

Q: How long will it take for my book to arrive?

A: In general, shipping will take about 3-5 business days within the United States.

Q: What are your return policy?

A: We offer a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee for all purchases regardless of the reason for the return. Further detail about return and refund on our return page under the link column below.

Q: What payment method do you accept?

A: We accept all major credit cards, as well as PAYPAL, APPLEPAY AND GOOGLEPAY.

We are always here to help so if you have any questions, just contact us via Facebook by way of that blue button on the left-hand side or send us an email via our contact us page. We also take phone calls from 10-5pm EST M-F at 617-599-2003.

More from this collection

By continuing to browse our site, you accept the use of cookies. Learn more