MAX ERNST
Maximilliana
ERNST/TEMPEL
Iliazd, Paris, 1964
Published in a small edition of 75 copies, Maximilliana is one of the outstanding Modern Illustrated Books. It contains thirty-four etchings printed in color, 12 x 16 inches, signed by the artist. The design of the book is most unusual, both outside and inside. The publisher, Iliazd, was a versatile Russian emigré in Paris, involved in a number of other notable Modern Illustrated Books. He was at once, publisher, poet, typographer and designer. For Maximilliana he designed the cover with a small black illustration by Max Ernst, printed on parchment, followed by six pages of high-quality blank paper of different colors.  The design of the text pages is fascinating.  In all probability, Ernst had a hand in the design of the pages in the book, but Iliazd was the true designer and typographer. The book is a whimsical, witty mixture of the striking etchings (aquatints) and calligraphy and typography, an Iliazd specialty. It is a complex, sometimes confusing production, unlike any other book. Related to Surrealism, there are passages in different languages, strange shapes and typography in unusual arrangements.  Because of the small edition, an original copy of Maximilliana is difficult to locate. It remains one of the truly important books in the history of Modern Illustrated Books. Max Ernst illustrated many books, several with collages, for which he was famous, but Maximilliana is his masterpiece.


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