In 1963, Expressionist painter and printmaker Oskar Kokoschka designed the sets and costumes for a production of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Un Ballo in Maschera at the Teatro Comunale in Florence. This oversize book features Kokoschka’s designs in seven original color lithographs with an additional six offset color lithographs. Marcel Jouhandeau provides an introduction to the prints which relates the illustrations to the libretto of the opera.

Verdi’s opera tells the story of an assassination plot against a king at a masked ball and Kokoschka’s colorful designs capture the pageantry and drama of this theatrical event. The seven original prints are signed in initials by the artist while the six offset lithographs are signed in the plate. This oversize book comes loose as issued on Rives paper with the original paper wrapper. It is housed in a linen-covered clamshell case printed with the artist’s name and date.

This copy is number 30 out of 71 numbered copies from a total edition of 155. It is signed by Oskar Kokoschka, Marcel Jouhandeau, and the publisher Madame Felia Léal. The paper wrapping covering the book in its box has minor tears and the box itself exhibits some fraying to the cloth covering and slight cracking of the inner lining, but overall this copy is in very good condition.  None of the prints or lithographs are damaged in any way.

 

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