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Bruno Schultz - the X Book* of Hidden Graphics.

Book of Idolatry, c. 1921Book of Idolatry,  c. 1920-1922

Book of Idolatry, c. 1920

In the years 1920-22, Bruno Schulz created a graphic series in the cliche-verre technique unknown at the time in Poland. He called it the X Book* of Idolatry in honor of the heroine, a demonic woman unattainable to men - an indol with whom contact could be established only through a look of surrender, sometimes through the touching of a stocking or a foot.

The scanalous series, the only one that Schulz ever created and one revealing the world of his immagination, was shown exclusively to close friends and a public distant from his native Drohobycz.

The artist, who created over 20 various graphics, collated them in canvas covered portafolios. He furnished each portafolio with a different pencil drawn title page. He created tens of these, each containing maximally twenty graphics. He mounted the individual graphics on cardboard, signing them and usually providing a title. Several of the portafolios have survived, notably in the library of the Jagiellonian University and at the Museum of Literature in Warsaw. Schulz gave several portafolios to friends and the rest he sold with varying success.

*Schulz titled each of the portafolios Xięga (or Book), where the X stands for the sound ks. Actually X is no longer a letter in the Polish alphabet, nor was it in Schulz's time and the word Xięga is not found in any dictionary, having been replaced by Księga. Using Xięga is an affectation.

Suzanna and the Elders. c. 1920

Bewitched City, c. 1922

The above is an unauthorized translation by Peter K. Gessner of part of an article by Adam R. Chełstowski in the May, 2004 issue of the Warsaw based Polish language magazine Art & Business


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