The Book of Revelation, written by Saint John the Divine from exile on the island of Patmos, was addressed to churches in what is now western Turkey to assure them, in visionary and symbolic language, that God and not Satan or the Roman emperor will be the final victor at the end of the world. This sublime message is delivered in this edition through the incongruous pairing of the sonorous aristocratic prose of seventeenth century England, in the form of the King James Bible (1611), and the contemporary twentieth century woodcuts of Jim Dine.

This is the tenth book from the Arion Press and as such one of its earliest. It contains twenty-nine full-page woodcuts that include many of Dine’s recurring and iconic images: a self portrait as the frontispiece (entitled “the artist as narrator”), a bathrobe, a heart, a hand, and beating wings, and even an homage to Albrecht Dürer in the form of a horse racing toward the viewer. The book is bound in one-quarter pigskin with wooden boards upon which, both top and bottom, is emblazoned a lightning bolt designed by Dine.

The Book of Revelation with its remarkable imagery has quite understandably attracted the attention of artists throughout the centuries. In the twentieth century is has been illustrated by Rufino Tomayo (Monte Carlo: Club International de Bibliophilie, 1959), by Max Beckmann (Frankfurt am Main: Bauersche Giesserei, 1943), and by illustrators André Collot (Paris: En L’An, 1942) and Stanley W. Hayter (Paris: Georges Huguet, 1930-32).

This edition by the Arion Press is limited to 165 copies and fifteen copies hors commerce. It is signed by the publisher and by Jim Dine.

 

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