Water-Colour Designs For The Poems Of Thomas Gray. A Facsimile with Introduction and Commentary by Sir Geoffrey Keynes.
London: Trianon Press, 1972. Folio, with 116 color facsimile leaves reproduced by collotype and hand-stencil color, the text of the poems reproduced from copper-plate with 3 additional printings to reproduce Blakes pencillings and the tone of the paper. Original sheets, marbled boards, morocco backstrip lettered in gilt,quarter brown morocco box. Number 370. Limited to 132 copies unbound in the French style; 220 copies in three volumes quarter morocco; 36 de luxe copies with extra material for exhibition purposes in a full morocco portfolio with an additional full leather portfolio containing progressive states, original guide sheets and stencils, etc. ; and 12 grand luxe copies bound in three volumes full morocco, with a full leather portfolio. In this, one of Blakes most extravagant tours de force, he took Grays poems as a springboard for epic watercolors. Mounting the text on a large sheet, he painted all around the margins some of his most powerful and striking designs. The illustrations to a poem on the death of a favorite cat drowned in a goldfish bowl, for example, are a classic example of his visionary powers transcending the prosaic. The Trianon Press reproductions are recognized as the finest examples of the art of facsimile reproduction; working from the originals in Paul Mellons collection, each leaf is faithfully hand-colored through stencils to achieve an astonishing exactitude. The Times Literary Supplement stated that nothing like these books had ever been printed before and that it was highly unlikely that they could be printed again. Bentley, Blake Books, 385.
(Item Id: 110461)