“A Picture is worth a thousand words.” We’ve all heard that phrase, and a book in the Rare Book Room collection proves that many pictures are worth more than that.
My Book of Hours: 167 designs engraved on wood by Frans Masereel. Foreward by Romain Rolland. Se trouve chez l’Auteur, 1922, is a book totally “written” in pictures…wood engravings designed and executed by Frans Masereel, a Belgian printmaker, illustrator, draughtsman, and painter. It was self-published in an edition strictly limited to 600 copies for America, each signed by Masereel.
Rolland Romain, in his forward to the book writes:
“[Masereel] has produced a sort of philosophic and fantastic travesty poems in pictures, of which My Book of Hours is one of the most beautiful examples. This is the story of a man who has drunk steadily of all the springs of life. He has known all its joys; all its illusions, all its disappointments. Exhausted by disillusionment, he whips with his contemptuous laughter this humankind which he had loved so well, and fleeing from it, he goes to search in the wilderness, to become lost there, for the peace of Nature and of Death who inevitably crushes in her fangs the vanity of life….
May this Book of Hours carry to America the name and fame of Frans Masereel!”
My Book of Hours: 167 designs engraved on wood by Frans Masereel. 1922. Our copy is number 34 of a limited edition of 600.