St. Petersburg: Akvilon, 1923. Item #130
49,  pp.: ill. 27x22 cm. In publisher's color lithographed illustrated wrappers. Rubbings and small tears, edges are chipped, tears and small losses of the spine, owner's signature on p.1 and markings on the back endpaper, rare foxing of the wrappers, very light stain of the inner side of the lower end of the wrappers. Otherwise a very good clean copy.
1 of 1000 copies.
Kuz'ma Sergeevich Petrov-Vodkin (1878-1939) was a major modern Russian and Soviet painter, teacher and writer. Being mostly a painter he was experimenting with literature during all of his life.
In 1921 Petrov-Vodkin travelled to Turkestan (Uzbekistan) with an expedition organized by Academy of History of Material Culture to study architectural monuments. He was amazed by the colors of Samarkand, called it ''the land of turquoise revelation'', and the result came in a form of 'Samarkand series' which is regarded by many as the acme of his artistic career. This book was compiled from his observations and on-the-spot sketches. Today this journal is also a very useful account of ways of his inspiration which led to creating more than 20 pieces of his famous art.
These illustrated travel notes were printed on coated paper (wrappers of a cream thicker paper). For this edition the artist created 22 ink drawings (pen and brush): 14 full page images, 7 headpieces for every chapter, 1 tailpiece. Illustrations are black and white except the front cover with colored illustration - a young man in front of Central Asian ornament. Book's composition and typography is an example of avant-garde graphics. The combination of the colorful and visual text with monochrome illustrations reflects the combination of the artistic expression and aloofness at the same time which brings these illustrations closer to artists's pictorial art in which he famously used the traditions of Russian iconography.
This edition was printed by Akvilon, a very important bibliophile private press of the 1920s. Akvilon published only 22 books of high art and printing standards and of small runs (500-1500).
WorldCat located 6 copied in US libraries.