This book features the powerful landscapes of photographer Mitch Dobrowner as illustrations for selected passages from William Blake’s prophetic books, often considered to be among his most important works. Blake’s series was completed in the 1790s and early 1800s and for each book in it Blake wrote the text, designed the illustrations, engraved both on copper engraving plates so they could be intertwined on the same page, printed the plates in color, bound the books, and sold them. To Walter Crane, a leading book designer and illustrator in Victorian England and the author of The Decorative Illustration of Books, “Blake is distinct, and stand alone . . . .  [I]n him seemed to awake something of the old [medieval] illuminator.  He became his own calligrapher, illuminator, and miniaturist while availing himself of the copper plate and the printing press for the production of his own designs.” Blake called his process “illuminated printing.”

The excerpts from Blake in this volume were selected by John Wood, the co-publisher of 21st Editions, who also wrote the introduction. Printed by John Marcy, the nine platinum prints of Dobrowner’s landscapes provide a fittingly dramatic accompaniment to the prophecies, which range from the ominous to the sublime. These nine prints are tipped in hors texte and interleaved with glassine. In addition, the book include an extra suite of three loose platinum prints.

This book also features a binding by Peter Geraty and Julia L. Rabin. It is quarter bound in brown leather and the boards feature textured paste papers. Referencing the horizon in a landscape, a debossed silver line runs across the length of both boards and continues as a tooled silver line on the spine. Handmade paste papers serve as the endpapers.

The book is housed in a brown cloth-covered, four-sided wraparound case secured with a magnetic flap shaped to allude to the landscapes within. The artist’s name and title of the book are stamped in silver on the spine of the case. The case has a built-in paper-covered box to store the three loose platinum prints. Each loose print is stored in a separate paper folio with a blind embossed 21st Editions logo. All twelve of the prints in this volume are signed by Mitch Dobrowner.

This is copy number 18 out of 28 numbered copies with an additional 11 copies reserved for the collaborators. The book is signed by Mitch Dobrowner, John Wood, and the publisher of 21st Editions, Steven Albahari.


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