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Portfolo Edition, containing twenty-two lithographic drawings of Joyce's Dublin. A selection from the lithographs illustrating Dubliners, published by DolmenPress. Limited edition of 35 proofs on sheets of handmade Japanese paper, 32 x 45 cm. Each proof numbered and dated by the artist (10 proofs hors-commerce, 5 Artist's proofs). . Printed by the Atelier Chave, Vence. Large folio, unbound. Boxed by Museum Bookbinders, Dublin in natural Irish linen boards, stamped in white in a design by the artist.
DUBLINERS: Commissioned by Liam Miller, le Brocquy completes ninety calligraphic brush drawings for James Joyce's Dubliners. Published by The Dolmen Press, Dublin, 1986. The edition is originally envisaged by Kevin M. Cahill, President General, American Irish Historical Society, New york. Encouragement is provided by Stephen J. Joyce to whose sympathetic approval the book owes its existence. The artist notes: 'The Táin drawings. are unique in my work in discovering a purely calligraphic interpretation of the heroic fantasy of the epic, completely free of any descriptive drawing. James Joyces Dubliners was quite a different matter, involving the precise nature and appearance of Dublin life at the turn of the century. Again the illustrations throughout are in black but here they are drawn with the rough sliver of bambou I carved for myself.' The artist's illustrations are admired by Samuel Beckett who requests the artist's collaboration on Stirrings Still, his valedictory work published in 1988 by Barney Rosset and John Calder. Exhibition at the Taylor Galleries, Dublin (November 1986): Shadows, portfolio of twenty-two lithographs selected from le Brocqy's illustrations of Joyce's Dublin, including Quays, Dodder Bank, Street houses, Kingstown, Sackville Street, St George's church, Kings Inns, Tenement Door, Grattan Bridge, Davey Byrne's, Ballast Office, General Post Office, The Pillar, Suburban Door, Liffey Chapelizod, College of Surgeons, Swans Chapelizod, TheCastle, Ballast Office Clock, Dublin rooftops in snow, Goldsmith, T.C.D., Four Courts. Aidan Dunne writes in ILS: 'In making his illustrations, he has returned to the fluid, calligraphic style he developed for The Tain, and, as he makes clear, to the same spirit that inspired that style. "Drawings shouldbe induced to grow spontaneously and even physically - marks in printer's ink - from the matter of the text itself. Here again, I hope, it is as shadows thrown by the test that they derive their substance." (It is worth remembering that leBrocquy is not only one of the smartest painters Ireland has produced, he is also one of the most eloquent, adept at articulating the conceptual basis of his art as well as describing its practical details.) In The Táin, the painter saw a distillation of a nation's historical experience, something approaching a repository of race memory, and his style sought to reflect the democratic breadth of the saga, lettingeveryman have his day in the neutral anonymity of his figure drawings. He sees Dubliners in terms as broad: "the essence of a people, distilled from the intimate life and history of a city." In this he is undoubtedly invoking Dublin's unique status as more than a city, as a state of mind, or a state of the mind, the place celebrated and reinvented by Joyce in exile.'
Assessing le Brocquy's illustrations to date, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain observes: 'By 1967, the year in which Liam Miller commissioned drawings for The Tain, le Brocquy had already illustrated twobooks: Austin Clarke's Poetry in Modern Ireland (1954) and J. J. Campbell's Legends of Ireland (1955). He had also worked once with the Dolmen Press: he designed the head and tail piece for Donagh MacDonagh's broadside Love Duet (1951) ... Following the publication of The Tain in 1969, le Brocquyillustrated six books, all of which form a coherent body of work. For Liam Miller and the Imprint Society in 1970, le Brocquy depicted characters from J. M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World as "masks." These six faces, each distinguished by a vivid combination of two colors, resemble the vividly colored heads in The Hosting of the Táin tapestry, as in the case of Orange Mask for the Widow Quin. Le Brocquyagain turned to ink brush drawing in 1977 for the Dolmen Edition of Desmond O'Grady's The Gododdin, a series of poems adapted from the Welsh telling of the annihilation of the Gododdin tribe; these drawings use variations of the raven symbol from The Tain. In 1979, Le Brocquy illustrated Seamus Heaney's Ugolino, translated from Dante's Inferno, which can be linked both to Kinsella's The Tain and O'Grady's The Gododdin, for all deal with ancient myths, feuds, and themes that "mesh with and house the equivalent destructive energies at work, say, in contemporary Belfast." ... The "Troubles" find direct expression in le Brocquy's cover design for Kevin Cahill's Irish Essays (1980), a proposal of possible solutions for the situation in Northern Ireland. There the artist depicts two groups of people, in the style of the Tain battle scene converging to represent a single society. In 1981, le Brocquy produced a series of lithographs portraying eight Irish writers - including James Joyce - published by Andrew Carpenter as a portfolio of unbound images. In one of the very last Dolmen Editions, le Brocquy illustrated Joyce's Dubliners.'
Joyce, James, Dubliners [Robert Scholes' 1967 corrected edition] (Mountrath, Co. Laois: Dolmen Editions, Dolmen Press Ltd, 1986). Limited edition of 500 numbered copies, signed by the artist on colophon (copies 401-500 hors-commerce). Ninety black and white lithographic brush drawings on white wove mouldmade rag specially made at Saint Cuthbert's Mill, Somerset, printed at the September Press, Wellingborough England by Christopher Skelton and Alan Bultitude. Designed by Liam Miller. The text is composed in Monotype cutting of the Joanna typeface designed by Eric Gill, printed in letterpress. Imperial octavo, cased in full natural Irish linen lettered in gold and stamped on each side in a design by the artist. Housed in publisher's hazel-brown cloth slipcase. Hardback/ paperback trade editions (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 1992). Shadows, PORTFOLIO EDITION, containing twenty-two lithographic drawings of Joyce's Dublin. A selection from the lithographs illustrating Dubliners, published by Dolmen Press. Limited edition of 35 proofs on sheets of handmade Japanese paper, 32 x 45 cm. Each proof numbered and dated by the artist (10 proofs hors-commerce, 5 Artist's proofs). . Printed by the Atelier Chave, Vence. Large folio, unbound. Boxed by Museum Bookbinders, Dublin in natural Irish linen boards, stamped in white in a design by the artist.