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GIBRAN, Kahlil.

Twenty Drawings.

With an Introductory Essay by Alice Raphael.

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1919 Stock Code: 140096
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Inscribed by Gibran's early champion

First edition, first printing, presentation copy from Alice Raphael Eckstein, author of the introductory essay, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "With friendliest associations of the ? collection and all good wishes from Alice Raphael Eckstein, Nov. 12 1931". Eckstein (1887-1975) was a leading art critic and Goethe scholar, whose recognition of Gibran's artwork was highly influential.

Twenty Drawings was the only collection of Gibran's artwork published during his lifetime. "For Gibran the canvas represented another form in which his poetry could be expressed... the pieces included in Twenty Drawings clearly demonstrate the mystical qualities Gibran imbued in all his works, whatever the medium" (Allen, p. 184). Sales of Gibran's other books had been disappointing up until this point but it was Alfred Knopf's wife, Blanche, who "had a hunch about him" (Laura Claridge, The Lady with the Borzoi: Blanche Knopf, Literary Tastemaker Extraordinary, 2016, p. 81). She was right, The Prophet (1923) was to be the publishing house's biggest seller.

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Small folio. Original brown cloth-backed pale grey-green boards, spine and front cover lettered in gilt, large gilt roundel to front cover after Gibran's painting "Life is a Flame".


Colour frontispiece portraying the artist's mother and 19 monochrome plates, all with captioned tissue guards.


Covers patchily faded, slight discolouration at head and tail of front cover, a few abrasions and light shelfwear, a handful of leaves with tiny nick at fore margin, yet this remains a very good copy.


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