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With 38 reproductions and a few critical opinions.

Availability: In stock

Published: Havana Ucar, Garcia Y Cia, 1935

Stock Code: 120905

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition, sole printing, number 442 of 460 copies of this scarce Hemingway publication championing the art of Antonio Gattorno (1904-1980). Presentation copy inscribed by the artist to Juan Jose Sicre: "Para J. J. Sicre, su amigo, Gattorno, Santa Amalia 15/6/1935". Juan José Sicre (1898-1974) was a Cuban sculptor and painter who, along with Gattorno, introduced a distinctly European style of modern art to Cuba. Having both studied in Europe in the 1920s, Gattorno and Sicre fell under the influence of artists such as Picasso and, particularly for Gattorno, Paul Gauguin, whose rural primitivism helped develop an interest in the rural poor and an increased sense of nationalism. On returning to Cuba Sicre became the professor of sculpture at the Academy of San Alejandro and contributed to the avant garde magazine Revista de Avance in order to establish a new form of Cuban national identity in the arts. Through this sense of national pride, Sicre became "the most famous Cuban sculptor of his time" (Bethell, p. 413).
It is likely that Gattorno met Hemingway as early as 1929 when Gattorno was living in France as part of El Grupo de Montparnasse, a contingent of Spanish and Latin American artists and writers who embodied the European modern art movement of the 1920s. Through the influence of these writers Gattorno's art changed conspicuously, with Sicre expressing concern that Gattonro had become all "too modern" by embracing a European romantic conception of Cuban national identity. But, as Hemingway notes in his foreword to this edition, Gattorno had undergone a transformation from "a Cuban painter" into "a painter for the world .... Now it is time for him to leave Cuba again but he will always return to it where he is painting".
Hemingway's patronage of Gattorno extended far beyond the foreword to this monograph. Hemingway "was well aware of the magnetic effect his name might have on such a publication" and sent two copies of the book to the editor of US magazine Esquire, Arnold Gingrich, encouraging him to publish eight full-colour reproductions of Gattorno's work in the 1936 edition (Baker, p. 264). Within a year Gattorno was invited to hold a solo exhibition in New York, paving the way for Gattorno's success in 1937 when he was commissioned by the Bacardi Company to paint a mural in their offices in the Empire State Building.

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Quarto (254 x 192 mm). Recent green cloth, gilt titles to spine on red morocco label. With the original front wrapper bound in.


Text in two columns in English and Spanish. Lithograph portrait and 37 lithographic illustrations by Gattorno.


Closed tear to top edge of front wrapper with creases to extremities, a little dampstaining affecting edges of preliminaries and first few pages, small loss to colophon leaf, illustrations and text clean. A very good copy of a fragile publication.


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