Item #125572 Unfinished proof print of a scene from Paradise Lost (Awake, arise, or be forever fallen!). Aubert.

Unfinished proof print of a scene from Paradise Lost (Awake, arise, or be forever fallen!)

1840. c. 1840.

Proof on india paper mounted on wove paper (image 247 x 342 mm, wove sheet 360 x 485 mm), engraved signature "Aubert pere" [sic]. Considerable foxing to the wove paper, some foxing and spotting to the engraving.

§ Proof print of an unfinished engraving of what surely must be the scene from Book 1 of Paradise Lost in which Satan addresses the rebel angels rolling on the fiery gulf (lines 315-330: "Princes, Potentates, Warriors, the Flower of Heaven, once yours, now lost..."). Beneath the proof is the engraved signature "Aubert pere", possibly the French engraver, Pierre Eugène Aubert (1789-1847), who signed himself 'Aubert fils' c.1815 and 'Aubert père' from 1840. We have not been able to identify the book it was intended for (if that was indeed its purpose), or to find an example of the finished print. In short, it is a mystery to be solved. In the meantime it is a striking object which demonstrates clearly some of the steps involved in engraving a complex illustration, including the not always obvious fact that backgrounds must usually be done first. It is also evident that areas of the print have been engraved with greater or lesser skill, making it probable that different engravers were tasked with engraving the background, the figures and/or the faces, as was common practice. Whoever engraved the figures seems to have been influenced by the work of James Barry, or perhaps William Blake (c.f. Blake's illustrations to Blair's The Grave). An unusual and useful teaching tool. Item #125572

Price: $765.00

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