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David Hockney - Fourteen poems by C P Cavafy


Fourteen poems by C P Cavafy chosen and illustrated with twelve unsigned etchings & Aquatints by David Hockney, translated by Nikos Stangos and Stephen Spender. The etchings on Crisbrook handmade paper, bound as issued . Edition A complete with Justification de tirage, signed on the limitation page by the artist.  Presented in the Publisher's purple cloth with slipcase.

Published by: Editions Alecto, 1967

Proofed & printed by: Maurice Payne and Danyon Back at Alecto Studios

Edition: AP - There were 550 impressions from the plates unsigned and bound (Our edition A consisted of 250 of these and 50 artists proofs);

Note: David Hockney has always considered himself to be something of a literary painter. With his series Illustrations For Fourteen Poems By C.P. Cavafy Hockney chooses to focus on a homosexual poet whose work he admired from a young age. Only four of the illustrations are actually set against a Middle Eastern backdrop, for in order to capture the mood and inherent sensuality of the poetry, Hockney had decided to use his own experiences and, for the most part, the illustrations are based on intimate drawings of his friends. Hockney first discovered Cavafy's poems at his local library, and reportedly subsequently stole the copy of the book. Though homosexuality was illegal in the United Kingdom until 1967, Hockney's etchings were instantly acclaimed and brought heightened visibility to Cavafy's poems.Today Constantine Cavafy (1863–1933) is recognised as one of the most important Greek language poets of his time. When he lived and wrote in Alexandria, Egypt, however, his poetry—some of which is intensely personal and deals in openly homoerotic themes—was seen by relatively few people.

Size: 48.5 x 34 cm

Condition: One text sheet with a pale spot, otherwise sheets in very good condition. Spine somewhat faded, minor wear. Slipcase faded and with wear

This consists of the following (Lacking the signed etching - Portrait of Cavafy II) each with its poem:

  1. Portrait of Cavafy in Alexandria (SCAC 47/Tokyo 47)
  2. Two boys aged 23 or 24 (SCAC 48 / Tokyo 48)
  3. He enquired after the quality (SCAC 49 / Tokyo 49)
  4. To remain (SCAC 50 / Tokyo 50)
  5. According to the prescriptions of ancient magicians (SCAC 51 / Tokyo 51)
  6. In an old book (SCAC 57 / Tokyo 52)
  7. The shop window of a tobacco store (SCAC 53 / Tokyo 53)
  8. In the dull village (SCAC 54 / Tokyo 54)
  9. The beginning (SCAC 55 / Tokyo 55)
  10. One night (SCAC 56 / Tokyo 56)
  11. In despair (SCAC57 / Tokyo 57)
  12. Beautiful and white flowers (SCAC 58 / Tokyo 58)