Art collectors, dealers and academics alike are all abuzz this month as the legendary Zervos Picasso catalogue is published for the first time in almost 40 years and for the first time ever in English. Named after Christian Zervos, founder of the world-renowned Parisian publishing house, gallery and art journal Cahiers d’Art, the Zervos Picasso catalogue ($20,000) is the definitive historical reference to the artist’s work and contains images of more than 16,000 of his paintings and drawings.
Cahiers d’Art ceased publication in 1960, but in 2011 the publishing house (along with the rights to all its publications, archives and gallery) was bought by Swedish collector Staffan Ahrenberg, meaning that it was at last possible to reissue all 33 volumes of this exquisite and fascinating catalogue for a new generation. Revisions have been made (the appearance of 1,000 English copies alongside 250 French ones is perhaps the most significant change, though readers will also welcome the fact that the spine of each volume has been printed with the years of reference), but the new version shares the same format, the same high-quality image reproduction, paper quality and hand-sewn binding that made the earliest volumes so sought after when they appeared in 1932.
“Christian Zervos dedicated his life to Picasso,” says Ahrenberg, “and it is our great honour to continue the Zervos/Picasso story and legacy. I think it is essential for the Zervos to be back in print and available to collectors, scholars and the trade.”