ELEFTHERIADES, Efstratios (TÉRIADE)
Verve : revue artistique et littéraire, 1937-1960
Paris : Éditions de la revue Verve, 1937-1960. Complete set of French first editions, 38 numbers bound in 26 volumes, folio, as issued, original pictorial boards (some rubbing and bumping to the corners) or stiff wrappers (occasional light creasing and wear to spine ends; no. 4 in slipcase, rubbed and split at joints), with cover designs by Matisse, Rouault, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Miró, Chagall and others, most issues containing original lithographs by artists including Kandinsky, Masson, Chagall, Miró, Klee, Derain, Braque, Bonnard, and Picasso, reproductions of the work of photographers such as Man Ray, Brassai, Cartier-Bresson, reproductions of mediaeval books of hours, and texts by some of the most influential writers and thinkers of the twentieth century, including James Joyce, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos.
Verve was founded by art critic Efstratios Eleftheriades, using the nom de plume Tériade. The first issue, with a cover by Matisse, appeared in December 1937, and the last, a double issue with cover by Chagall, in the summer of 1960. The monthly review’s lavish design, luxurious presentation and extraordinary artistic content led to its being recognised as the most beautiful magazine in the world.
‘In every decade there is a review of literature and art that could have come out at no other time, so neatly is it buttoned into the spirit of the age. This was true before 1900 of The Yellow Book in London and of La Revue Blanche in Paris. It was true of the Blue Rider Almanac in Munich in 1911 and of Blast in London in 1914-15… Fifty years ago in Paris, the magazine to look for was Verve, which first came out in December 1937 and kept going in one form or another till 1960. That first cover (by Henri Matisse) sang out from the other side of the street in a way that made us run across the road to look at it more closely. And when we turned its pages, Verve had a bosomy, full-fleshed, slightly slithery quality that this former subscriber would know in his sleep.’ John Russell, in a New York Times review of Verve : the ultimate review of art and literature (1937-1960) by Michael Anthonioz (New York : Harry N. Abrams, 1988).