The Old Print Shop


  • ARTIST: Ben Shahn

  • MEDIUM: Lithograph,

    DATE: 1966.

  • EDITION SIZE: Edition 150. Image size 22 x 14 3/16" (55.8 x 36 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: Levana is the ancient Roman goddess of childbirth and guardian of newborns. <br><br> “Levana, the Roman goddess, held Shahn’s interest over a span of many years. He used a version of the subject for the 1964 frontispiece to Wendell Berry’s ‘November Twenty-six, Nineteen Hundred Sixty-three,’ The goddess also occurs as an illustration in Louis Untermeyer’s ‘Love Sonnets,’ where she is furnished with the heavenly setting that the legend assigns to her. <br><br> “Levana (from Latin, to raise up) is ‘The Roman goddess that performed for the new-born infant the earliest office of ennobling kindness’ by having him lifted off the ground to ‘Behold what is greater than yourselves!’ She was also the goddess who watched over human education: ‘Not the poor machinery that moves by spelling-books and grammars, but by that mighty system of central forces hidden in the deep bosom of human life, which by passion, by strife, by temptation, by the energies of resistance, works forever upon children.” - Prescott

  • ADDITIONAL INFO: Signed and dated in red brush lower right, numbered lower left. Red-orange chop upper left. Printed by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, California.

  • CONDITION: Very good condition.

  • REFERENCE: #71 in "The Complete Graphic Works of Ben Shahn." Kenneth W. Prescott.