Sonetti (Signed copy)
Limited edition 1/20, signed by the artist and designer Geoffrey MacEwan
First limited edition (only 20 copies), hardback bound in cream cloth with printed woodcut to front board in slipcase with typed label to front, numbered by hand. The pages are hand-made and as such are untrimmed. 21 × 17cm, unpaginated but c26pp.
Signed and numbered by the artist in black pen to the front pastedown, number 1 of 20 copies, with the following inscription in pencil "To Jonathan Usher from Geoff, may your spirits never be ground down"
Cavalcanti was a poet and troubadour whose writing made a central contribution to Dolce stil novo, a radical poetic movement of the Tuscan commune in 13th century Florence. The book contains a selection of sonnets which Cavalcanti wrote at an early stage in his career.
Geoffrey MacEwan has printed both the poems and the illustrations from wooden blocks, onto hand-made paper. Traces of red ink surround the text on the left-hand page, recording the mutual contact of the materials. The block left the jagged white lines where it had been slashed by MacEwan. The lines collectively suggest a centrifugal movement. MacEwan carefully orchestrated their structure, organising the spaces between the lines as well as the angles at which the lines tilt – the thickness of the lines and the degree either of their curvature or of their straightness.
This copy is in very good condition. There is some surface marking to the cloth covers but this may well be a result of the design process. The pages are clean and the inner binding secure. The slipcase is slightly rubbed but overall, this book is in very sound condition.
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