(South Norwalk, 1974). 14 1/2 x 21 1/2. Sixteen leaves: 4 pages of xylographic text in blue, 1 single and 8 double spread color wood cuts on French-fold pages, with glassines. Marbled papers (3 different) on binding and endpapers, made by the artist, that reflect the book's tone. Cloth-backed boards. Vertical crease in title page, all else fine in slightly worn slipcase. Item #15673
No. 2 of 5 copies, signed. The book opens with a quote from Henry James: "Sea and sky seem to meet halfway, to blend their tones with a soft iridescence...." In Frasconi's woodcuts, Venice floats between sea and sky, between dawn and dusk. His colors progress from a fierce predawn red to a brilliant golden sunrise in which the sky dominates, to midday colors of turquoise & golden brown and a balance between sea and sky. Gradually the blues and purples of dusk deepen. The sea predominates. The penultimate leaf quotes William Dean Howells: "...always the dark heaven with its trembling stars above...." The last double spread--dark purple and black--sparkles with thousands of stars. The images shimmer with the iridescence of gold and silver metallic inks. The images fill the page; there are no margins. Frasconi's technique of layering and overprinting give these prints the look and feel of paintings. This is an "artist's book" in the truest sense. Frasconi's work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian.