Notes: The numbered edition (100 copies) of Sandow Birk's Divine Comedy, complete in three volumes, with more than 100 signed lithographs bound in, as issued. The artist translated the text with Marcus Sanders and illustrated it after Gustave Doré's well-known 19th century take on Dante's epic literary masterpiece, divided into the standard three books, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
Birk is best-known for his re-imagining of classic works in modern American urban environments, and the Divine Comedy is one of his most important projects. In the lithographs that illustrate the text—more than 200 in total, counting smaller unsigned pieces and the full-page signed prints—he cast Los Angeles as Hell (in the book Inferno), San Francisco as Purgatory (Purgatorio), and New York has Heaven (Paradiso).
The lithographs were printed by David Salgado on White Arches Cover paper using a ten-ton Mailänder flatbed proof press. The plates were inked four times and then printed twice. The text was printed by Charles Graphics and the books were bound by Arnold Martinez in leather with embossed designs.
3 volumes. Illustrated with original lithographs by Sandow Birk printed by David Salgado on a Mailänder flatbed proof press. 35.3x27.7 cm (14x11"), each volume bound in full leather of various colors stamped in gilt. Each volume measures 11-1/2 by 14-3/8 inches. Pagination: xiv, 211; xv, 203; and xix, 203 pages.
Dante's Inferno. 2003. 71 original lithographs (35 signed), numbered and signed again by Birk on the colophon;
Dante's Purgatorio. 2004. 69 original lithographs (34 signed), numbered and signed again by Birk on the colophon;
Dante's Paradiso. 2005. 69 original lithographs (34 signed), numbered and signed again by Birk on the colophon.
In addition to this issue of 100 numbered copies, there were 26 lettered copies and another two dozen or so specially designated copies.
Edition + Condition: All three volumes are fine and numbered 76 of 100 on the colophon. Some copies have a slipcase for volume one. This set, purchased from Birk's gallery in 2004, prior to the completion of the third volume, does not include a slipcase. Instead, each volume has an unprinted glassine dust jacket with a Trillium Press sticker on the spine noting the copy number ("76/100"). Each volume is accompanied by a high-resolution inkjet print (not signed) of a Dante-related painting by BIrk.
Publication: Brisbane, CA: Trillium Press, 2003–2005.
Item No: #363072