Browning: Pictor lgnotus. 1925

Browning, Robert

Pictor lgnotus, Fra Lippo Lippi, Andrea del Sarto.

Golden Cockerel Press, Waltham St Lawrence, 1925

CHF 110.–

A handsomely produced book published by Golden Cockerel Press, designed by Robert Gibbings and with initials designed by Eric Gill. Limited to 360 copies, of which this is No. 303.

Description: Quarter vellum over blue boards with gilt titles on spine. Quarto: 27 × 20 cm; pp. 39, [2]. Printed from 18 pt. Caslon Old Face in black and red on Arnold’s unbleached hand-made paper.

Ref.: Cave/Manson 26; Chanticleer 26

Condition: Vellum darkened and showing a few marks, rubbed on corners and sunned along upper margins, internally clean and bright.

Notes: Fra Lippo Lippi by Robert Browning is a dramatic monologue in verse running the length of 376 lines. The poem was published in 1855. Fra Lippo Lippi was a Florentine monk who lived in the fifteenth century. He was a painter of some renown, and Browning most probably gained familiarity with his works during the time he spent in Italy. Lippo’s most important statements concern the basis of art: should art be realistic and true-to-life, or should it be idealistic and didactic? Should Lippo's paintings of saints look like the Prior’s mistress and the men of the neighborhood, or should they evoke an otherworldly surreality? Which kind of art best serves religious purposes? Should art even serve religion at all? Lippo’s rambling speech touches on all of these issues.

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