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Paris: Philippe Gonin, 1937 & 1943 [i.e. 1950]. - Two volumes, plus portfolio. Quarto. Loose signatures laid into printed wrappers. Some modest foxing early and late (largely to the endleaves) of the second text volume, light foxing to verso of one of the proof plates in the portfolio, otherwise about fine in lightly soiled and corner worn slipcases and vellum-backed chemises. First edition. The text volumes were printed in editions of 750 copies on rag paper watermarked with a special device of a seated nude by Maillol. Each volume is illustrated with 61 beautiful woodcuts, including illustrated initial letters, executed after Maillol's drawings. This is one of the preferred sets, accompanied by the separate portfolio including two extra suites of the woodcuts, each suite laid into special printed pictorial wrappers, one suite printed in black and one in sanguine, each plate with a paraph 'M' stamped in the margin, along with ten early proof states of woodcuts printed in sanguine on China paper contained in a separate folder initialed and franked by the publisher. This beautiful and ambitious project saw its conception during Maillol's and Count Kessler's trip to Greece and Italy in 1908 and was intended as something of a parallel companion project to the masterful Cranach Press ECLOGAE & GEORGICA (1929). Maillol made the first woodcut from his drawings shortly after their return, and a few others in following years, but Kessler was unable to proceed further with the project. Philippe Gonin approached Maillol in 1937, proposing that he resume work on the project, "and the last block was delivered to the publisher in September, 1944, shortly before the artist's death. Most of the cuts were executed by craftsmen after Maillol's drawings on the block, since at that time his eyes were not strong enough for the cutting" - ARTIST & THE BOOK. The number of copies of the portfolio is not explicitly stated, but the edition is frequently reported as being only one hundred copies. ARTIST & THE BOOK 175. MONOD 11339. REWALD 156-61.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Literature, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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