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Laurence Robert Binyon

1869 - 1943

Dream Come True by Laurence Robert Binyon

Dream Come True   c.1904

  Original woodcut printed in colour.
Signed in pencil.
S 130 x 122 mm; I 60 x 63 mm
Original Laurence Binyon woodcut.

Exceptionally rare early proof impression of Laurence Binyon’s only woodcut, printed in rose-coloured ink.

This beautiful impression is a signed proof prior to the addition of letterpress, hand printed by the artist himself. The shine left from hand-burnishing is still visible on the reverse of the sheet.

The published version of this woodcut was issued in a limited edition in “Dream Come True” Poems by Laurence Binyon published by the Eragny Press in 1905. In its published form this image was printed in green ink, surrounded by text and decorations designed by other artists. Proof impressions of this print are extremely scarce and impressions printed in any colour other than green are of the greatest rarity.

In many ways Laurence Binyon and his work provide the bridge linking all three periods of this catalogue together. The origins of his art stem from his academic works on William Blake and his followers; the Pre-Raphaelite overtones of this particular work reveal an essentially Victorian style; whilst today Binyon is best known for his poems inspired by the First World War and for his connections with the composer Elgar.

Artist, poet, art-historian, and critic, Laurence Binyon was a committed academic. He became the leading specialist in Chinese and Japanese colour prints and was a noted authority on the works of William Blake and his followers. In his personal art he was torn between poetry and painting as a means of expression and this small print, his only woodcut, reveals his great interest in the affinity of poetry with the visual arts.

Designed to accompany his poem of the same title, Dream Come True was created soon after Laurence Binyon had edited an edition of Blake’s Woodcuts and it reflects the heritage from Blake to the Pre-Raphaelites. However, this delightful original work possesses the emotional sensitivity and brooding love of the English countryside which pervades so much of Laurence Binyon’s own poetry.

On cream wove paper with offset wide margins. Some toning within mat window area, otherwise very good condition.