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Encantadas: Two Sketches from Heman Melville's "Chanted Isles"

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Leonard Baskin; Rico Lebrun, Encantadas: Two Sketches from Heman Melville's "Chanted Isles", 1963, illustrated portfolio with 6 woodcuts on Copperplate paper; a second set of woodcuts printed on green Moriki paper, housed in a folder, inside a slipcase quarter bound in green leather, Museum Purchase: Helen Thurston Ayer Fund, © The Estate of Leonard Baskin; Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York, 64.28

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Details
Title

Encantadas: Two Sketches from Heman Melville's "Chanted Isles"

Related Titles

book title (original language): Encantadas

Artist

Leonard Baskin (American, 1922-2000)

Rico Lebrun (American, born Italy, 1900-1964)

Related People

print publisher: The Gehenna Press (American, established 1942)

Date

1963

Medium

illustrated portfolio with 6 woodcuts on Copperplate paper; a second set of woodcuts printed on green Moriki paper, housed in a folder, inside a slipcase quarter bound in green leather

Edition

8/150

Dimensions (H x W x D)

portfolio: 25 3/8 in x 18 7/8 in x 1 1/4 in

Inscriptions & Markings

signature/maker's mark: signed by both artist

Collection Area

Graphic Arts

Category

Books, Portfolios, and Manuscripts

Prints

Object Type

relief print

intaglio print

portfolio

Culture

American

Credit Line

Museum Purchase: Helen Thurston Ayer Fund

Accession Number

64.28

Copyright

© The Estate of Leonard Baskin; Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York

Terms

artists' books

engraving

intaglio prints

relief prints

woodcut

Description

In his novella "The Encantadas," or "The Enchanted Isles," Herman Melville meditates on the harsh landscape of the Galápagos Islands and the creatures that live there. For this collaboration, Leonard Baskin cut the blocks drawn by Rico Lebrun, who focused on Melville's ruminations concerning "The Two Sides to a Tortoise." In it Melville describes in-depth the massive, ponderous, and long-lived tortoises hauled onto his ship, as not "your schoolboy mud turtles, but black as widower's weeds, heavy as chests of plate, with vast shells medallioned and orbed like shields, and dented and blistered like shields that have breasted a battle, shaggy, too, here and there, with dark green moss, and slimy with the spray of the sea."

The colophon for Encantadas incorporates a pomegranate, a symbol for Leonard Baskin's Gehenna Press.

Colophon: "One hundred and fifty copies of this book have been printed at The Gehenna Press in Northampton, Massachusetts. The woodcuts were drawn on cherry blocks by Rico Lebrun and were cut by Leonard Baskin. The paper used for the text is Copperplate and Shogun for the woodcuts. Harold McGrath was the pressman. Bembo is the type used throughout. The work finished during the month of March, Mxmlxiii.

The edition is arranged as follows. Numbers 1–5 have a second suite of the woodcuts printed on Moriki a Japanese hand-made paper and are accompanied by an original drawing by Rico Lebrun. All the prints signed by the artist and the engraver. Numbers 6–31 have the second suite of woodcuts which along with impressions on Shogun are signed by the artist and the engraver. Numbers 32–150 have the single set of woodcuts and the colophon is signed by Rico Lebrun and Leonard Baskin. This is number 8."

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