31 May 2007
PETER HENRY EMERSON
Marsh Leaves. London: David Nutt, 1895. Quarto (280 x 185mm). 16 photogravures with original printed guards. Publisher's lavender pictorial cloth, spine and upper side blocked in dark blue (stains on the upper cover, spine browned, extremities rubbed).
FIRST EDITION, one of 200 copies from an edition of 300 copies only. These studies of softly rendered details from nature are 'THE CULMINATION OF EMERSON'S ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT' (Grolier). 'Certainly, the 16 photo-etchings take his art to where it could probably go no further, and as a fusion of text and imagery the book is entirely successful... It is one of the most beautiful books about isolation and solitude, perhaps death, ever made, and Emerson's spare, evocative pictures were seldom equalled by the later Pictorialists' (The Photobook). Grolier The Truthful Lens 54; The Photobook, vol. I, p.72 ('HIS FINEST').
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