ELSKAMP (Max)L’Alphabet de Notre Dame la Vierge [The Alphabet of Our Lady, the Virgin].

(Antwerp, Édition du Conservatoire de la Tradition populaire, 1901), ["Achevé d’orner, dessiner et graver le 2 octobre 1901 par Max Elskamp Imagier à Anvers et J.-E. Buschmann Imprima"].

4to, publisher’s wrappers, first side illustrated in colour.  (58) pp. Double leaves. Woodcut throughout, each page with a large colour block in black, mauve and pink. Complete.

First Edition limited to 215 numbered copies of which this is one of 100 copies on Hollande paper. Half of the issue was printed in yellow and blue, and half in mauve and pink. Both issues are rare on large paper.

Beautiful Alphabet of our Lady the Virgin by the outstanding Belgian folklorist, Symbolist poet and illustrator Max Elskamp (1862-1931), a close friend of Henry van de Velde.

Of a well-to-do family, Elskamp was something of a dilettante and illustrated his works with his own woodcuts. Like most Belgian poets of his generation, he was deeply influenced by literary developments in France; he had personal contacts with both Paul Verlaine and Stéphane Mallarmé. Elskamp’s writing repeatedly evoked the simple yet colourful religious experiences of his fellow Catholics and their daily life. “In a synthesis of Symbolist tradition and the spirituality of Art Nouveau, Elskamp employed a poetic idiom in harmony with these subjects and interspersed with archaic turns of phrase. He also echoed the rhythms of the litanies and liturgies of the church” (Britannica).

Covers slightly sunned, spine browned, small traces of tape on blanks, else a very good copy.

Ref. Pascal de Sadeleer, Max Elskamp, Poète et graveur. Catalogue raisonné d’un ensemble exceptionnel de son œuvre littéraire et graphique, 1985, 24

Price: 1.250,00 euros

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