Ruslan and Ludmila
Seller ID: 1871
Moscow: GIHL, 1960. Illustrated by Tatjana Mawrina. First edition thus, in Russian (pp. 150 ). A presentation copy for Rockwell and Sally Kent, signed and with a complimentary note from Lavrenty Yaroshenko, ‘Dear friends Mr. Rockwell Kent and Mrs. Sally Kent from actor [and] soloist Kirov Opera, [signed] Lavrentiy Yaroshenko (Farlaf and Ruslan). Leningrad, Yuny 13, 1962.’ From the library and with the bookplate of American artist Rockwell Kent, a theatre ticket to the performance enclosed. Folio (30 cm ) in faux vellum, story-telling cat from Kazan on front cover; lavishly decorated and illustrated with seven coloured plates and smaller decorations on every page in a colourful informal style reminiscent of traditional illustrated Russian lubki, a kind of chapbook which portrayed popular traditional stories like the tale of Ruslan and Ludmila for appreciative if largely unlettered readers. Yaroshenko (1909- 1975) was, as he says, a celebrated principal singer (bass) with the Kirov, now once again called the Mariinsky Theatre. Tatjana Mawrina (1902- 2014) was a winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for illustrators of children’s books and the co-author of a book on early Russian icons. Rockwell Kent (1881- 1971), of course, along with many an artist and intellectual who flourished early in the twentieth century, was sympathetic to various reformist political movements and, in the aftermath of the second world war, supported efforts to bring a lasting peace. In the 1950’s Kent publicly supported rapproachement between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and for his efforts was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1960, a fact which may partly explain the warmth of Yaroshenko’s note. A few spots to the covers, mild waving to heavy paper stock. A clean, bright, sound copy. From Kent’s library.
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