Shadow Magic

Lewis_ShadowMagic_ED

Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Shadow Magic, 1939, drypoint, signed in pencil lower right. Reference: McCarron 126, only state, 34 impressions recorded. In excellent condition, 13 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches.

An extraordinarily fine example of this rare drypoint, printed in black on a cream wove paper.

In a preparatory drawing in the Lucile Lewis (his wife) inventory Lewis quoted the first line of the Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) sonnet “Euclide alone has looked on beauty bare.” Here is that sonnet:

Euclide alone has looked on beauty bare.

Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,

And lay them prone upon the earth and cease

To ponder on themselves, the while they stare

At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere

In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese

Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release

From dusty bondage into luminous air.

O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,

When first the shaft into his vision shone

Of light anatomized! Euclid alone

Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they

Who, though once only and then but far away,

Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.