Lot 166. Granting the “Statute of Kalisz” to Jews in Poland, original painting by Arthur Szyk. [late 1920s?].
Gouache and ink on paper. Signed in Hebrew initials “AS”.
The painting depicts Duke BolesÅ‚aw of Kalisz granting the charter known as the “Statute of Kalisz” to representatives of Polish Jewry, in 1264.
In the second half of the 1920s Szyk created a series of about 45 paintings on the subject of the “Statute of Kalisz”. The series was published in a limited edition in 1932 (see next item); this painting is not included in this series.
Painting: 39X26 cm, leaf: 45X37 cm. Good overall condition. Some creases and stains. Upper left corner is missing. Upper part is taped to passe-partout. Ink-stamp (Polish) on verso, inscription in pen and some stains (from old adhesive tape).
Estimate $12,000-15,000. Kedem. 11/15/16
Lot 166. “Statute of Kalisz”, an illustrated adaptation of the General Charter of Jewish Liberties granted to Jews in Poland (1264), created by Arthur Szyk. Facsimile on thick paper. Paris: “Table Ronde”, 1932. English, Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Polish, Italian and Spanish.
45 illustrated plates. A unique artistic adaptation of the first charter of rights granted to the Jews of Poland. Colorful illustrations, diverse decorations, calligraphy and miniatures.
Arthur Szyk (1894-1951), one of the most outstanding Jewish artists in the twentieth century, started his work on the scroll in the mid-1920s, when he resided in Paris. In the face of rising anti-Semitism in Poland, Syzk decided to to create an artistic argument expressing the unique and long affinity between Polish Jews and their homeland. As subject of his work Szyk chose the Statute of Kalisz, the first document of its kind securing the liberties of Jews in Greater Poland Voivodeship, issued by the Duke of Greater Poland Boleslaus the Pious (1224-1276) in 1264.
Szyk illustrated the statute with outstanding figures and scenes from the history of Poland and Polish Jewry. He included the heroic death of Berek Joselewicz, a Jewish officer who died during the Napoleonic wars; the death of the officer Bronislaw Mansperl in World War I, and Jews fighting side by side with the Polish in Lodz again Tzarist Russia.
Szyk’s “Statute of Kalisz” is dedicated (on one of the illustrated plates) to JÃ³zef PiÅ‚sudski (1857-1935), the respected military leader and de facto governor of Poland at that time.
Unnumbered copy, from of an edition of 500 copies. Lacking original paper folder.
Total of 47 plates: 46 illustrated plates (one is double) and a colophon (probably missing two leaves – one printed, without illustrations, and one blank). Plates: 32X38.5 cm. Good overall condition. Creases and tears to margins. Stains to several plates (no damage to illustrations). One plate has a 3.5 cm long tear on upper margins, and a 1.5 long tear on right margins, without damage to illustration or text.
Literature: The art and Politics of Arthur Szyk, by Steven Luckert, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, 2003. pp 16-25.
Estimate 25,000-30,000. Kedem. 11/15/16