The Dreyfus Affair: The Ben Shahn Prints [BRAND NEW IN PUBLISHER'S BOX]
Cincinnati: Crossroads Books, 1984. Limited edition. Softcover. One of 60 copies hand-numbered in Roman Numerals, this numbered XXVI, and printed on Grande Arches handmade pure rag vergé paper. Eight Ben Shahn offset lithographs after pochoir prints (11 3/4" x 15 1/4") and twenty-six page book resting in original matching sturdy clamshell box. Each print with protective wrap-around tissue-guard housed in its own titled wraps folder with short descriptive text (* below). Book: Folio. 26, pp. Printed paper-covered boards with red and black lettering on cover. Frontispiece b/w photograph showing Ben Shahn and M. Crampe. With one color and three b/w photographic reproductions. Includes essays by Bernarda Bryson Shahn, Egal Feldman and Charles Westheimer as well as the letter "J'Accuse" by Emile Zola in Dreyfus' defense, addressed to French President Félix Faure. The letter appeared in the Parisian newspaper "L'Aurore" on 13 January 1898. Letter in French with English translation. Remarkable portfolio in brand new condition, still in publisher's box. New in publisher's box and shrink wrap. Item #45615
Pochoir prints: 1) Captain Alfred Dreyfus, an exemplary officer and member of the French General Staff who, being a Jew, was made scapegoat and condemned for a treasonable act that he did not commit. 2) Major Armand-Auguste-Ferdinand-Marie Mercier du Paty de Clam. There could not have been a worse choice for a fair preliminary interrogation of Dreyfus than a blundering and erratic busybody who felt himself honored by the assignment. A man of fertile and cruel imagination, he had the soul of a medieval inquisitor. He was a violent anti-Semite. 3) Fernad Labori the lawyer, represented an anomaly in French legal circles: a lonely voice crying out for justice in a corrupt world. Like his famous clients, Zola, Picquart and Dreyfus, he was the subject of vicious attacks - including an attempted assassination. Like them, he attained the stature of a moral hero in the United States. He was a handsome man, full of vitality with "lungs of steel." 4) Georges Picquart was widely recognized as one of France's most promising young officers. Calm, clear-eyed, with slightly ironical honesty, a brainy dreamer of a type much more common among artists than soldiers, he loved music, spoke German, English and Spanish with equal fluency and excelled in mathematics and the military arts. It was to Picquart that Dreyfus was to owe his life, Picquart destroying his own in the process. 5) The Experts. The handwriting specialists accused by Zola of conspiracy and fraud. 6) Marie-Charles-Ferdinand-Walsin-Esterhazy. The son of a French General of an illegitimate branch of the Hungarian Esterhazys, was the man who actually peddled the French military secrets to the German military attaché in Paris. He was so utterly bored by his bourgeois world that he attempted to find relief in heroism and knavery. He was a gambler and adventurer, but without purpose, a man possessed of a fantastic and sardonic humour. 7) Labori and Picquart remained unwilling to accept any final accommodation by the courts less than the full revision of the guilty verdicts. 8) Paleologue and demange, the one a witness, the other an honored lawyer, defender of Dreyfus.