Illustrated Books

Over the course of his long career, Arthur Szyk illustrated more than thirty books ranging from political satires to contemporary novels to children’s fairy tales. Szyk’s in-depth knowledge of world history and remarkable attention to detail bring to life familiar classics such as Andersen’s Fairy Tales as well as contemporary works like the Zionist novel Le Puits de Jacob [The Well of Jacob].

Arthur Szyk, 1919. Rewolucja w Niemczech. Front. Lodz

Rewolucja w Niemczech [Revolution in Germany]
by Juljan Tuwim
Łódź /Warsaw: Książka i Sztuka, 1919
A collaboration with the Polish poet Julian Tuwim, Szyk’s first published book of political satire mocks the policies of post-World War I Germany.

Pieśń nad Pieśniami [Song of Songs]
Translated by Zygmunt Bromberg-Bytkowski
Łódź: M. Szajniak, 1924
Szyk’s delicate black and white line drawings accompany the ancient love poetry of Song of Songs.

Arthur Szyk, 1925. Le Livre d'Esther, Mordechai, Esther and Ahauerus. Paris

Le livre d’Esther [The Book of Esther]
Paris: L’edition d’art H. Piazza, 1925
The story of Esther’s rescue of her people from Haman’s murderous plot is told through richly colored illustrations executed in the style of Persian miniatures, text in French and Hebrew. Limited edition of 950 copies. (A Hebrew-only volume was published the same year for distribution in America, limited edition of 520 numbered copies.)

Le juif quit rit. Nouvelles légendes [The Laughing Jew]
by Curnonsky & J.W. Bienstock
Paris: Albin Michel, 1927
Second volume of Jewish stories and jokes in French, illustrated by Szyk’s confident line drawings. First 20 copies numbered.


 

 

 

“In his dexterity, Szyk recalls a bygone age of monastic scribes slaving over parchment pages.  [His] illustrations…are more intricate than Swiss watch works and sublimely obsessive.”

– Michael Kimmelman, chief art critic of the New York Times, 2008

Arthur Szyk, 1940. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. New-York.

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
Rendered in English verse by Edward Fitzgerard
New York: Heritage Press, 1940 (printed in London by The Sun Engraving Company)
Eight mounted color plates illuminate the short poems of the medieval poet Omar Khayyám.


Arthur Szyk, 1941. The New Order (cover). New-York

The New Order
New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1941
A volume of Szyk’s anti-Nazi political drawings, the first book of its kind published in the United States, with a striking dust jacket.

Arthur Szyk, 1942. Razzle Dazzle, Dust Jacket. New York.

Razzle Dazzle
by William Saroyan
New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1942
Szyk designed the stunning full color dust jacket for Saroyan’s collection of short plays.


Arthur Szyk, 1945. Andersen's Fairy Tales. Little Ida's Flowers. New York.
Arthur Szyk, 1944. Andersen's Fairy Tales, Inside Cover Illustration. New York.

Andersen’s Fairy Tales
by Hans Christian Andersen
Translated by Mrs. E.V. Lucas and Mrs. H.B. Paull
New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1945
The most republished of any illustrated edition of Andersen’s Fairy Tales, this book’s striking illustrations have delighted and haunted generations of American children.


Arthur Szyk, 1946. Ten Commandments, Illuminated T. New Canaan.

The Ten Commandments
Philadelphia/Toronto: The John C. Winston Company, 1947
Szyk illuminates the Ten Commandments given to the ancient Israelites in the style of stained glass panels. First 1000 copies numbered, signed by Szyk.

Arthur Szyk, 1948. The Arabian Nights Entertainments. New Canaan. Julnar the Sea Born

The Arabian Nights Entertainments
Translated by Sir Richard Francis Burton
Ipswich, England: Limited Editions Book Club, 1954 [published posthumously] Fifty-nine luminous miniatures illustrate sixty-five of Scheherazade’s thousand and one tales.

Arthur Szyk, 1950. The Book of Esther. New Canaan.

The Book of Esther
Tel Aviv: Maariv Book Guild & American Israel Publishing Co., 1974 [published posthumously] Szyk revisits the story of Queen Esther through the lens of the Holocaust, imagining the wicked Haman as a Nazi. (This book is completely different from the 1925 limited edition book Le livre d’Esther.) Five hundred copies are numbered and signed by Szyk’s daughter, Alexandra Szyk Bracie.


The Haggadah

“To call [Arthur Szyk] the greatest illuminator since the sixteenth century is no flattery. It is the simple truth which becomes manifest to any person who studies his work with the care it deserves.”

– Cecil Roth, art historian, introduction to The Szyk Haggadah, 1940

 

 

Arthur Szyk, 1935. The Szyk Haggadah, The Family at the Seder. Lodz.
Arthur Szyk, 1935. The Szyk Haggadah, The Sea of Reeds. Lodz.
Arthur Szyk, 1935. The Szyk Haggadah, Baby Moses. Lodz.
Arthur Szyk, 1935. The Szyk Haggadah, The Bread of Affliction. Lodz.

The Haggadah
Edited by Cecil Roth
London: Beaconsfield Press, 1940
Szyk’s masterwork contains 48 jewel-like illuminations that follow the order of the Passover Seder, in Hebrew and English text. Limited edition of 250 copies printed on vellum, signed by the editor and Arthur Szyk. After the first edition, The Haggadah was reproduced in Israel numerous times from 1956 to 2003, with the first U.S. printing in 2008.


Arthur Szyk, 1945. Joseph and his Brothers. Joseph and Potiphar's Wife. New York.

The Story of Joseph and his Brothers
Adapted by Jean Hersholt
New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1949
Szyk’s characteristic color and detail bring to life the tale of Joseph, the slave who became Pharaoh’s right hand man. One of three books in a series called The Evergreen Tales (the other books, Aladdin and theWonderful Lamp and The Three Bears, are not illustrated by Szyk). Limited edition of 2500 copies, signed by the editor.

Arthur Szyk, 1944. Ink and Blood. New York.

Ink & Blood, A Book of Drawings
New York: Heritage Press, 1946
Stunning limited edition fine art book collecting Szyk’s finest World War II caricatures, with a foreword by Maxwell Struthers Burt. The title is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the famous “Blut und Eisen” [Blood and Iron”] speech given by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1862. Limited edition of 1000 copies, signed by Arthur Szyk.

Arthur Szyk, 1946. Job. The Book of Job. The Man of Uz. New York

The Book of Job
New York: Limited Editions Club, 1946
Szyk reframes the biblical poem on human suffering as an allegory of World War II and the Holocaust. Limited to 1950 copies, signed by Arthur Szyk.

Arthur Szyk, 1946. Pathways Through the Bible, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Philadelphia.

Pathways through the Bible
Edited by Mortimer J. Cohen
Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1946
Since its release, this retelling of the great stories of the Bible has been a fixture in Jewish education.

Want to know more about the books Szyk illustrated?

1941. The New Order. Dust Jacket. New York.

View his Bibliography

Discover more of Arthur Szyk's exquisite art.

1935. Lodz. The Szyk Haggadah, King David
Szyk's art