Eduardo Chillida

San Juan de la Cruz


Philosophy, spirituality and mysticism, elements rooted in Chillida's thinking, fill the artist's work. Therefore, it is not surprising to discover that one of his bedside books is the Spiritual Canticle of St. John of the Cross.

Artika, co-published with the Chillida-Leku Museum, brings together two of the Basque artist’s great passions: the mystical poems of St. John of the Cross and art.

An unrepeatable jewel that blends in perfect harmony the poetic work of St. John with the reproduction of 32 drawings and gravitations by Chillida, accompanied by 16 handwritten quotations, intimate and personal, on art and spirituality conceived by the artist himself.

A book bound with rusty iron covers that breathes that admirable black light of the Atlantic Ocean so characteristic of the creations of the famous sculptor. A tribute to the artist who tamed metal.

It is accompanied by a book of studies, a treasure in itself, in which great specialists bring us closer to the poetic work of the 16th century mystic and the graphic work of the 20th century artist.

The books are presented in a sculpture-case that emanates the strength, resistance and color that we find in Chillida’s work, with details alluding to his symbolism.

«An emotional journey traced by two great figures, in a limited and numbered edition of 998 copies.»



  • Completely handmade case, made of wood in the base and 4 mm dense cardboard in the lid.
  • Lined in high quality cotton fabric in black (base) and white (lid).
  • Printed in two colors
  • Two nests in the base that hold vertically the two books.
  • Internal protection bands for the stability of the two volumes.
  • Format: 39,5 x 48,5 x 18,2 cm
  • Total weight of the work: 16,5 kg


  • Number of pages: 356
  • 32 facsimile reproductions by Eduardo Chillida as a tribute to the poet, presented in chronological order of creation, and 16 autograph quotations by Chillida.
  • Old Mill Avorio paper, by Fedrigoni, 130 gr for the texts of San Juan de la Cruz.
  • Fedrigoni Old Mill Bianco paper, 100 gr for the 32 original size plates by Chillida.
  • Brown paper of 160 gr that serves as support for the hand-glued plates.
  • Pergamata folden Star K paper of 110 gr for the 32 original size plates by Chillida.
  • 1.5 mm oxidized iron covers, protected with varnish, with Chillida’s cross stamped on them.
  • Black rubber spine
  • Printed in 7 inks
  • Stitching and book elevation by hand
  • Die-cut pages with Chillida’s cross on each sheet
  • Format: 30 x 39 cm


  • Number of pages: 144
  • Semi-matte 135 gr coated paper
  • Printed in 4 inks
  • Binding: Matte black Fibermark stamped
  • Number of photographs: 68
  • Format: 30 x 30 cm


The iron plates undergo an individual oxidation and varnishing process, making each volume unique.

The covers of the book, made of iron and with a thickness of 1.5 mm, are polished and smoothed for subsequent handling when binding.

After the first engraving on the cover, the pantograph reproduces the names of the artists under the watchful eye of the engraver.

On the plate is marked the location of the cross, original by Chillida, which will perforate the entire volume up to the back cover.

The plates will become the covers of the book. Assembled with rubber, they will serve as the spine of the book.

The base of the case, made of wood and lined with black cotton cloth, has two nests that hold the books in an upright position.

The upper part, made of cardboard and white cotton cloth, has protective bands on the inside to secure the books.

Its manual elaboration allows for a finish adjusted to the protection of the two books, being a work of craftsmanship.

The graphic work is printed in 5 inks. The use of stochastic screening guarantees a faithful reproduction of the originals.

The plates have been glued by hand on 160 gr. paper with three dots of glue.

The selected quotations by Chillida have been printed with two direct inks on special translucent paper.

Eduardo Chillida

Eduardo Chillida

(1924-2002) Philosophy, spirituality and mysticism are elements rooted in Chillida’s thought. The sculptural works of the Spanish artist play with the relationship between volumes and spaces, matter or scale, working with materials such as iron or concrete. His starting point has been archaic Greek sculpture, but his concern for interior form and his need to monumentalize art have always been evident.

In addition to receiving numerous awards, Chillida exhibited on many occasions around the world, being represented in major museums and art collections in Europe and the United States.

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