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VANESSA BELL. "Some Poems of Mallarmé." Study for dust jacket illustration for "Some Poems of Mallarmé" by Roger Fry and Charles Mauron, published by Chatto & Windus, London, 1936. Watercolor and pencil on board. 220x145 mm; 8 5/8x5 3/4 inches, image. Archivally matted and framed.
Fry came to know Charles Mauron in the early 1920s and repeatedly sought his advice and assistance on a translation into English of selected poems by the French poet Mallarmé, a project that he had begun during the period of the Omega Workshops (the design enterprise of the Bloomsbury Group which he founded). Fry's letters to the Woolfs during the early 1920s frequently mention his hope that these translations would be published by the Hogarth Press, but he never completed the project. In 1928, Fry asked Mauron to write a commentary for his translations, and after Fry's death, Mauron and Julian Bell, Vanessa and Clive Bell's son, drew on Fry's notes to complete the long-imagined volume. The jacket by Vanessa Bell is among her most evocative, a tribute to her long-time colleague and friend, in much the same way as her sister Virginia Woolf's 1940 biography of Fry was--David H. Porter, Omega Lives: The Omega Workshops & the Hogarth Press, Chapin Library, Williams College October - December, 2007.
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