Original Fredrick Carter wood engraving.
Very rare signed lifetime proof impression, from the artist's personal collection. An outstanding proof, prior to publication in Twenty Drawings by Frederick Carter (London, 1918) - this rare publication was intended to be issued in three formats in a total edition of 100 sets of prints; however, Frederick Carter only ever produced 15 sets in total.
The wood engravings of Frederick Carter have always been considered to be the artist’s greatest works. Their inspired designs brought him three successive gold medals for book illustration in the National Competition, South Kensington - the most prestigious award of his day. Frederick Carter developed an unique, almost calligraphic style of wood engraving, shown to striking effect in this stylish design. He began by drawing his original design in ink directly on to the wood block and then either he, or his assistant W.M.R.Quick, would carve away the surrounding wood, leaving only the lines of the original drawing standing proud to form the printing surface.
There is a classical elegance and a hedonistic air to this highly stylised design which compares with the illustrative work of Aubrey Beardsley. The influence of Thomas Sturge Moore, Charles Ricketts, Robert Anning Bell and other contributors to The Dial and The Yellow Book is clear throughout Frederick Carter's work; however, the mystic symbolism which pervades all of Frederick Carter's designs elevates them above works of pure illustration into a category of their own.
On fine laid Japan-style paper, with full margins and deckle edge. Very fine condition.