The illustration work

With strong links to the Parisian literary world and himself a poet, Zadkine devoted almost half of his engraved work to the illustration of books and poetry magazines. In 1914, he illustrated the poems of Vera Inber, Le vin triste, published in Paris in Russian, with six engraved pieces of wood. In 1919, two wood engravings were reproduced in the magazine Les soirées de Paris to which his friend Jean Cassou contributed.


But it was in the 1960s particularly that he developed this type of work. The publication of the album Les Travaux d’Hercule (The Labours of Hercules) brought together 28 of his lithographs to illustrate Euripides’ text, based on the drawings created during his exile in New York in 1943. One year later, he took part along with six major contemporary artists in the illustration of l’Apocalypse de Saint Jean, contributing three etchings produced in 1930 for a non - completed projet.

He also endeavoured to illustrate the poems of his friends, Pierre Albert-Birot, Claude Aveline and Robert Ganzo … In 1967, he engraved ten etchings for 7 Calligrammes d’Apollinaire.