London: William Heinemann, 1910, 1911. [Opera / Norse Mythology] SIGNED LIMITED EDITIONS. Two volumes. Quarto (30 x 24cm), pp. x; 159 ; pp. x; 182 . Copies 863 and 467 respectively of 1150 copies produced of each book, SIGNED by the artist in black ink to limitation page. With 34 high quality chromolithographic plates to the first volume, and 30 to the second volume, each including a frontispiece. Plates tipped individually onto thick brown paper interleaved with the text. Publisher's original cream vegetable parchment, with gilt titles and decoration to spines and uppers. First volume with the original gold ribbon-ties; second volume with recent yellow replacements. Top edges gilt, others untrimmed. Large black ink gift calligraphy to first blank of the second volume. Light occasional browning. Light rubbing to the first volume, more-so to spine, which is a little toned. Second volume more heavily rubbed and marked; slight loss of gilt. Very good. A superb example of Rackham's dramatic interpretation of Wagner's libretti, and his only work for adults. London-born Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) studied drawing at evening classes at Lambeth School of Art (from 1884) for 7 years whilst working full-time in insurance. He began his career using the then new half-tone process, his fame spreading upon publication of his illustrated Grimm's Fairy Tales in 1909. In 1905 his illustrated Rip van Winkle introduced him to the US public; one year later Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens was published. Rackham was made a full member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in 1908, and was honoured abroad, with gold medals from Milan (1906) and Barcelona (1911). Item #55562
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