The Verve Review, like its sister publications Derrier Le Miroir and Xxe Siecle, was a Parisian art journal seeking to bring the works of the emergent Modernist and Surrealist painters to a wider public. During its publication history it took a much more vibrant, edgier stance than did some of its contemporaries, concentrating on the works of Surrealists and the Avante Garde in particular.
The Verve Review, from its very inception, was a purposefully luxurious magazine. It ran from 1937 to 1960, but with only 38 editions available, due to the high degree of design and editorial work dedicated to each issue. Each edition contained unique lithographic prints, commissioned by the editor, and each cover a double-page lithograph elaborated by one of the artists contained within. It was the brainchild of its editor Stratis Eleftheriades, a Greek National who moved to Paris in the early thirties to take part in the growing Modernist movement, writing under the name of Teriade (and was the name that he later published the Verve under).
Teriade had already had a great deal of experience in the art world by the time that he formed Verve, having worked on the Surrealist paper The Minotaur, as a writer and editor. When the Minotaur folded, Teriade took the failure of the paper not as a sign of despair, but as a call to arms, the next year producing bigger and more lavish works in the form of the Verve.
Although Verve published its last editions in 1960, Teriade continued to work in the art world until his death in Paris in 1983. Along with Maeght, St. Lazarus and Vollard, he is regarded as one of the great non-artist figures of the Modernist movement.
Collecting Verve editions can be harder than, say, Derrier Le Mirior, mainly due to their limited number and high degree of professionalism. There is a wealth of price difference between the ‘early’ period of the Verve (1937-1950) and its ‘later’ set (1950-60), mainly due to the contemporary nature of its later works. An early edition of the Verve from 1937, its first year of printing, in mint condition can retail for easily over two thousand US dollars, while an edition from the later 1950’s in the same condition would only cost in the region of a few hundred US dollars.
Verve 1. Editions de la Revue Verve (1937). four original lithographs, including one each by Miro and Leger
Verve 2. Editions de la Revue Verve (1938). two lithographs by Kandinsky and 2 lithographs by Masson
Verve 3. Editions de la Revue Verve (1938). four lithographs, one each by Chagall, Miro, Klee and Rattner
Verve 4. Editions de la Revue Verve (1938). lithographs by Matisse and Derain, and a cover by Rouault.
Verve 5/6. Editions de la Revue Verve (1939). lithographs by Braque, Matisse, Rouault, Klee, Leger.
Verve 8. Editions de la Revue Verve (1940). lithograph by Bonnard
Verve 13. Editions de la Revue Verve (1945). 2 plates with color pochoir over lithograph (De la Couleurs and La Chute d'Icare)
Verve 17/18. Editions de la Revue Verve (1947). lithograph by Bonnard
Verve 19/20. Editions de la Revue Verve (1948). 2 Picasso lithographs
Verve 21/22. Editions de la Revue Verve (1948). 2 Matisse lithographs
Verve 23. Editions de la Revue Verve (1949). Dust jacket is a Matisse lithograph.
Verve 24. Editions de la Revue Verve (1950). Original lithographic wrappers by Chagall
Verve 25/26. Editions de la Revue Verve (1951). Original lithograph and lithographic cover by Picasso
Verve 27/28. Editions de la Revue Verve (1952). 29 lithographs, including Chagall (3), Miro (3), Matisse (2), Braque (2), Leger (3), Giacometti (2) and others.
Verve 29/30. Editions de la Revue Verve (1954). 16 original Picasso lithographs
Verve 31/32. Editions de la Revue Verve (1955). Sketchbooks of Braque. 11 lithographs, including one original by Braque.
Verve 33/34. Editions de la Revue Verve (1956). Bible with 12 original b/w lithographs, 17 color lithographs, and a lithographic cover page by Chagall.
Verve 35/36. Editions de la Revue Verve (1958). Lithographs from cutouts by Matisse.
Verve 37/38. Editions de la Revue Verve (1960). Dessins Pour La Bible/Drawings for the Bible, with 30 Chagall lithographs