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many cities (text)

Ben Shahn



22 1/2" x 17 3/4"

“For the sake of a few lines one must see many cities..."

This line of verse, which accompanies Ben Shahn’s lithograph, is taken from Rainer Maria Rilke's semi-autographical novel, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910). At an early age, Ben Shahn was deeply affected by Rilke’s work. One year before he died, the artist illustrated Rilke’s list of life experiences needed for true creativity. Many Cities is the first of 24 the lithographs that comprise the portfolio For the Sake of a Single Verse.


Purchase, through gift of the Wisconsin State Journal