TRIANON PRESS. BLAKE, William. GRAY, Thomas. ~ Water-Colour Designs For The Poems Of Thomas Gray. A Facsimile with Introduction and Commentary by Sir Geoffrey Keynes.
No.101 of 352 copies of a total edition of 518. Three volumes. 116 colour facsimile leaves reproduced by collotype and hand-stencil colour, the text of the poems reproduced from copper-plate with 3 additional printings to reproduce Blake’s pencillings and the tone of the paper. Folio, original morocco backed marbled boards in marbled paper covered slipcases. Slight fading with a couple of small marks to the spines, otherwise very good.
In this, one of Blake’s most extravagant tours de force, he took Gray’s 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 and the Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, 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 Mellon’s collection, each leaf is faithfully hand-coloured through stencils to achieve an astonishing exactitude. An extremely handsome work.