Elihu Vedder’s drawings for the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám:
Vedder’s Rubáiyát set the standard for the artist-designed book in America and England. Vedder created designs for the entire book — its cover and lining paper, its compelling drawings, and its eccentric hand-drawn letters.
The rubáiyát (the plural form of quatrain, or a verse unit of four lines) were written around 1120 by the Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet Omar Khayyám. He left upwards of 1,000 epigrams on the transience of existence and the uselessness of mathematics, science, or religion to untangle the knotted meaning of life.