The Alphabet of Creation: An Ancient Legend From the Zohar by Ben Shahn - First Edition Children's Books - Judaica, Jewish Literature

$25.00

First edition thus of The Alphabet of Creation: An Ancient Legend from the Zohar by Ben Shahn.

Written and illustrated by Ben Shahn. Typography by Joseph Blumenthal. 1984, first edition thus. (Originally published as a limited hardcover edition in 1954 by Pantheon Books.) Schocken Books, New York.

"Twenty-six generations before the creation of the world, the twenty-two letters of the alphabet descended from the crown of God whereon they were engraved with a pen of flaming fire. They gathered around about God and one after another spoke and entreated, each one, that the world be created through him."

This edition of The Alphabet of Creation is a faithful facsimile of the limited edition of 550 lithographic copies originally published in 1954, complete with renowned graphic artist Ben Shahn's original 46 drawings and Joseph Blumenthal's typography.

"The Alphabet of Creation is one of the legends from the Sefer Ha-Zohar, or Book of Splendor, an ancient Gnostic work written in Aramaic by a thirteenth century Spanish scholar named Moses de Leon who presented the work, not as his own, but as mystic knowledge revealed many centuries earlier to the Rabbi Simeon Ben Yohai. The present interpretation has been rather freely adapted by Ben Shahn from the English translation of Maurice Samuel and other sources."

Front flap:

"The legend of how God created the world through the letters of the alphabet fired Shahn's imagination. He used it as a springboard to create a charming story for readers of all ages, an introduction to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet..."

Ben Shahn (1898 - 1969), a lithographer, photographer, graphic artist, and illustrator, and student of Diego Rivera, earned a prominent place in the social realist movement. He's remembered most for the Jersey Homesteads mural and The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti.

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Condition*: Near Fine/Very Good. Dust jacket: Price-clipped; minor scuffing and a surface scratch on front from shelfwear. Green cloth cover boards: minor edgewear near the tail of the spine.

* Based on Guidelines of the Independent Online Booksellers' Association.

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