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The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. Inferno

Item date(s): 1983

Tom Phillips

Pages: see details
Size: 448mm

Place publication: London
Publisher: (Talfourd Press)

Additional notes:
"Tom Phillips was born in London in 1937. He attended St Catherine’s College, Oxford in 1957, where he read English and at the same time studied drawing at the Ruskin School. In 1961 he went to Camberwell School of Art where his chief source of inspiration was Frank Auerbach. He went on to teach at Bath Academy of Art, Ipswich (where he taught Brian Eno) and Wolverhampton Art College between 1965 and 1972.

"Phillips’s first solo show was in 1965 at the Artists International Association Gallery in London, followed by an exhibition at the Angela Flowers Gallery in 1970. He won first prize at The John Moores Liverpool Exhibition in 1969 and subsequently went on to exhibit in many solo and group exhibitions around the world. Two early exhibitions of particular significance were the 1973 showing of 'A Humument' in its entirety at the ICA, London and the 1975 retrospective at the Kunsthalle in Basel. In 1989 he had a solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (which holds a number of portraits by Tom Phillips including his portrait of Dame Iris Murdoch) and in 1993 a major exhibition of his work was held at the Royal Academy of Arts. To celebrate his 60th birthday in 1997, retrospectives of his work were held at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and the South London Gallery. More recently in 2001 an exhibition of his drawings was held at the Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth.

"Phillips was Vice-Chair of the Copyright Council from 1985 to 1989. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 1989 and was Chairman of the Royal Academy’s Exhibitions Committee from 1995 to 2007. He curated the Royal Academy’s exhibition 'Africa: The Art of a Continent' (1995) which subsequently travelled to the Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. He was appointed a Member of the Royal Society of Painter Etchers and Engravers in 1987 and an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 1999. He is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford, Leeds University (Bretton Hall) and the London Institute as well as an Honorary Member of the Royal Institute. He served as a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery (1998 - 2006 ) and a Trustee of the British Museum (1999 - 2006). Phillips was made a Commander of the British Empire for services to the Arts in the 2002 Birthday Honours list." - Official Tom Phillips website.

Tom Phillips’ Magnum Opus - a fine Sponsor’s copy with personal dedication

A Verse Translation by Tom Phillips with Images and Commentary. Two volumes. 34 fascicles, plus the title page and colophon fascicles.. 140 images, most full-page. Boxed - 17.5" x 13.5' x 3'. Printed letterpress on specially made acid-free mouldmade paper tinted to the artist’s own specification, and incorporating his own signature as the watermark. Illustrations are etchings, lithographs and silkscreens. Most prints are individually initialed in pencil by the artist. Some watercolor additions have been made by hand by the artist to the edition De Tete and archive copies. Printed for The Talfourd Press at the artist’s studio in Talfourd Road, London, under the direction of the artist. The letterpress layout was designed by Ian Mortimer of I.M. Imprimit, where the text was handset in 14pt Walbaum. All the bindings for the work were designed and executed by Petta Erskine-Tulloch. The book was produced between MCMLXXXI and MCMLXXXIII, initial work having been done by the artist on both the translation and the imaging from November MCMLXXXI. An edition of 185 copies or so. General edition 1-100. Edition De Tete I - X: Archive Copies A1 & A2: Sponsors copies A-T: Copies for Subscribers AA-ZZ: Hors de Commerce copies 1-17: Artist’s Proofs AP1-10.

This is a Sponsor’s Copy No. N with the following handwritten words on the Colophon page: "of the copies/of the proper/edition for/backers A-Z/This is copy/N/Tom Phillips. LXXXIII".

With the extra dedication on the front free endpaper of Vol. 1:

"For Deborah: her copy signed this day in Dade County (xvi/l/LXXXXIII) with love from Tom"

The back of the colophon page gives many details and states: "The book as a whole was finished on the seven hundredth anniversary of the meeting of Dante & Beatrice on the Ponte Santa Trinita on April XXX. MCCLXXXIII."

Included in the special exhibition at the Library of Congress on 19th April, 2013 for CODEX Mexico.

Illustrated as item 114 in Artists & Books 1900-Present. Ursus Books, New York, 2014.

Ref: GB/12854

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