Holy Bible: Illustrated King James Version (KJV)

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Virtuoso book designer and illustrator Barry Moser, many of whose masterpieces are already museum-housed modern classics, has devoted nearly five years to the greatest book project of all. Moser has hand-crafted, designed, and illustrated a magnificent Bible to be published in a special 400 copy limited edition. Viking Studio is proud to make this work of art and devotion available to a broader public in a trade edition of superb quality.

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Virtuoso book designer and illustrator Barry Moser, many of whose masterpieces are already museum-housed modern classics, has devoted nearly five years to the greatest book project of all. Moser has hand-crafted, designed, and illustrated a magnificent Bible to be published in a special 400 copy limited edition. Viking Studio is proud to make this work of art and devotion available to a broader public in a trade edition of superb quality.

The Pennyroyal Caxton edition of The Holy Bible is first and foremost intended to be read—with text lovingly designed and simply set in black type, subtly accented with red. But its revolutionary impact lies in its illustrations—haunting, sometimes dark but always luminous, described by Newsweek as "engravings with the brooding power of magical realism." Modeled on everyday people, they enrich each book (which salutes the original with its name printed in Hebrew or Greek) of both the Old and the New Testament. No connoisseur of great art or fine bookmaking, no religious or spiritual reader will want to be without this edition. It is a rich heirloom gift for holidays, holy days, and every day of the century to come.

* 236 engravings printed as b&w line art
* 2-sided satin ribbon marker
* Gold foil stamped case
* Parchtone jacket with gold foil stamping
* Smyth sewn binding
* Shrinkwrapped with peel-off price sticker

A publishing event of true millennial significance. The only Bible of this century illustrated—authentically and luminously—by a single artist. The only affordable edition of a renowned bookmaker's magnum opus.

Designed and illustrated by Barry Moser for The Pennyroyal Caxton Press
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Editorial Reviews

An acclaimed artist and former fundamentalist preacher, Barry Moser began the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, as it's known, about twelve years ago. He has received praise for his illustrated versions of books such as Moby Dick and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but he approached this undertaking more carefully, with an "awe-striking" sense of reverence.

The engravings themselves, almost two hundred and fifty scattered throughout both testaments, aren't the light and airy depictions that one might expect of biblical imagery. White-on-black, dark and frequently bleak, Moser's collection of images lends an ominous power to much of the book's resonance text.

Entertainment Weekly
A religious experience. "Christlike" is the last word one would describe most restaurant employees. But Barry Moser; illustrator of the Pennyroyal Caxton Press edition of the Holy Bible, was often inspired while dining out. He modeled his Virgin Mary on a Northampton, Mass., waitress and based Jesus on a waiter at the Manhattan restaurant Danielo's. With nary a halo nor apple-cheeked cherub to be found, his dark engravings may jar Bible traditionalists—but that's exactly the point. "The Bible wasn't peopled by perfect human beings - these guys were roughnecks!" explains former preacher Moser.
New York Times Book Review
In the beginning was the word. The pictures, as every illustrator knows, can only follow, flowing from those words but also subtly shaping their course, directly our gaze here or there and fixing vividly in our minds the more abstract and open-ended text.

Putting pictures to words is Barry Moser's profession, but never has the challenge been greater than in his latest project: a monumental, fully illustrated version of the King James Bible. Not only is this the most central, most revered, and surely most contested text in our culture, but it is one already firmly fixed in our collective minds by religious inclination and by the countless artist who have already left their mark.

Moser aims to create a masterpiece drawing and scanned, collaged photographs, which were then transferred to the block for engraving. The photographic origin of many images shines through the linear, abstract quality of the engraving medium, often giving a startling immediacy to the scenes. For the image to accompany the line from mark "Suffer the little children to come unto me," Mr. Moser has portrayed a Jesus whose frank smile and unidealized face seem to capture a candid moment on the wing. "There are no made-up faces here," he says.

Reimagining this sacred cast of characters as living, breathing men and women lies at the heart of Mr. Moser's project. For all its traditional splendor, it has the power to startle as readers begin to recognize themselves in those iconic, larger-than-life characters. "All of these people are flawed," Mr. Moser says, "just like the people who will be picking up the book and reading it." In bringing a sacred text down to earth, Mr. Moser may just have created the Bible for our time.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641522772
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Pages: 944
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 12.08 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2003

    Extraordinary art (and opportunity)

    Barry Moser is the kind of genius that staggers many of us. The power of his illustrations is astonishing, arising as it does from the relative simplicity of engravings. There are suggestions now and then of a Goya or Dore, say, but Moser's style is instantly recognizable as all his own. After years of being grateful that his brilliant Moby Dick illustrations left out human figures, I am equally grateful that he has put such individual faces on Biblical figures. As we know, a good artist can often best achieve the universal by giving us a detailed particular. Having this book available at such a ridiculously low remaindered price is also remarkable. Life is good.

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