Ruslan und Ludmilla; Ein Phantastisches Marchen

Munich: Orchis-Verlag, (1922). Masjutin, Wassilij. Hardcover. Folio size, 68 pp., in German. Very good +. Item #CNWB07

Russian poet and novelist Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837), considered the founder of modern Russian literature, wrote "Ruslan and Ludmilla", an epic fairy tale filled with adventure, magic, and love; it tells of the knight Ruslan who goes on a quest to rescue Ludmilla, a princess of Kiev, after she is kidnapped by an evil wizard. The story is told in verse and divided into six "Songs" and one epilogue; it was later adapted into an opera by famed Russian composer Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857).

Accompanying the poem are illustrations by Wassilij Masjutin (Vasily Masyutin) (1884-1955), a Russian-German artist who illustrated numerous books by Russian authors such as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Nikolai Gogol; for Pushkin's verses he creates full-length portraits of the characters, and each is hand-coloured by R. Müller (per the colophon). The prologue of the poem describes a cat walking around a tree on a gold chain, a cat who tells fables, and as it paces it begins to tell this tale; the cat pacing around the tree is illustrated on the front board of the book.

___DESCRIPTION: White cloth spine with cream paper boards, hand-coloured illustration of a cat pacing around a tree on the front board, title and author written by hand in brown ink on the spine, top edge stained red, mauve endpapers, title page in red and black with publisher's device in red, text inside red ruled and decorative borders throughout, full-page illustrations by Wassilij Masjutin, hand-coloured by R. Müller, throughout; folio size (13.25" by 9.75"), pagination: [1-7] 8-67 [1 colophon]. Please note the text is in German. Per the colophon, there were 100 special copies printed on rag paper and signed by the artist; this volume is a standard copy.

___CONDITION: Volume is very good plus, with a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and entirely free of prior owner markings; front and rear boards are lightly foxed, spine is lightly soiled, light rubbing to the head and tail of the spine, the corners are gently bumped and somewhat rubbed, interior pages are lightly toned at the margins but with the red borders and illustrations still bright, there is one cracked gutter at pages 52 and 53, but text block is still strong.

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Price: $500.00