Friday, August 3, 2012

Games of the XIII Olympiad

An illustration of a nude man pulling at the base of a small tree. In the background two man handle a horse.Actually, there wasn't a 13th Olympiad since the year was 1944 and World War II was still in progress. Instead of holding the Games in London as planned, the International Olympic Committee held a much smaller "Jubilee" in neutral Lausanne, Switzerland to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first modern Olympiad.

Several commemorative items were issued as part of the celebration including this collection of odes by Pindar titled Olympiques (Lausanne: √ąditions A. Gonin, 1944). Illustrated by Swiss artist Hans Erni, the book included all fourteen of the Greek poet's Olympian victory odes - each dedicated to a specific athlete's triumph in the ancient Olympic Games. Erni's illustrations include the mythical founding of the games by Heracles as well as selected depictions of the heros. The volume also contains a brief history of the ancient games and Pindar as well as an analysis of each ode.
An illustration of a nude man with his arms around a horse's neck, slightly overlap with a man waist-deep in water.

Interestingly, there appears to be no mention of World War II or any explanation of the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of the 1944 Games.

Ask for Rare Book PA 4275 .F8 E76 1944.

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