Apocalypse of Saint John
PROVEN: The Apocalypse is Real.
Since its introduction in 1961, Joseph Foret's "L'Apocalypse de Saint Jean," has stirred the imagination of both the art world and the esoteric world of the book collector.
Conceived as "the most expensive book in the world," the single copy of "L'Apocalypse de Saint Jean," sold for an astonishing $1,000,000.00. With a cover of bronze encrusted with precious stones sculpted by Salvador Dali, original artwork by Dali, Leonor Fini, Bernard Buffet, Leonard Foujita, Pierre-Yves Tremois, Ossip Zadkine and Georges Mathieu, there are also original graphics by Jean Cocteau, Michel Ciry, Frederic Delanglade, Ernest Fuchs, Roger Lersy and Pierre-Yves Tremois. The book weighs 463 lbs. and is completely hand calligraphed. In addition to Saint Jean's text there is further writing by Jean Cocteau, Daniel-Rops, Jean Guitton, Jean Rostand, E.M. Cioran, Jean Giono and Ernst Junger.
The entire book was realized on a special hand-made parchment created solely for the project. "L'Apocalypse," encased in a plastic bubble, was exhibited around the world before it ended up in a Swiss vault, the property of a syndicate of French, Belgian and German art dealers. It is currently - according to educated lore - resting in a vault in Japan. It has not been seen publicly since 1962.
The exhibition catalog mentions "Seven copies for seven 'fervent' collectors worldwide." Although a handful of people over the years had claimed to have actually seen one of the copies, no one was able to prove their existence. The fabled copies became a holy grail for book collectors, art dealers and experts of all persuasions.
Each book was advertised as being on different types of paper; Parchment, Silk, Japon nacre, Japon imperial, white Velin d'arches, tinted arches and Velin de Rives B.F.K. Each would be contained in silk covered slipcases in seven different colors; Violet, Burgundy, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. An additional "Publishers Copy" would be on B.F.K. Rives in a red case.
After extensive searching for an actual copy - and literally years of research - not one, but two copies dropped out of the sky into the possession of Neil Zukerman, owner and director of CFM Gallery, who can finally, unequivocally, state that the copies do exist.
Included in the find is an incredible multi-media collage by Dali. The watercolor and ink includes gold caps, screws, nails, tacks, a St. Christopher medal and watch parts. The paper has been scorched, hammered, had a shotgun fired at it and was otherwise stressed by Dali. During the years from 1962 until 2002 it was closed up in a book on a shelf of publisher Joseph Foret. It will be exhibited for the first time at CFM Gallery's presentation of "L'Apocalypse de Saint Jean" in October of 2003.
Joseph Foret is considered one of the foremost publishers of Livres d'Artistes (artist's books). He has presented important works by works by Picasso, Utrillo, Cocteau, Dali, Delanglade, Buffet and Carzou. Foret is perhaps best known as the publisher of "La Divine Comedie" by Dante Alighieri, which includes 100 wood block prints by Salvador Dali.
One copy of the "L'Apocalypse de Saint Jean" - the publishers copy - will be donated by CFM to the coming Leonor Fini Museum in Paris. The second copy, which will be offered at the exhibition, is the Velin de Rives B.F.K. copy in a red slipcase. Original lithographs and etchings by the six illustrators of the main text, Dali, Fini, Tremois, Buffet, Foujita, Mathieu and Zadkine will be available individually as will originals and original graphics by Cocteau, Delanglade and Tremois.