Claus Wrage

Dante – Block – Buch. 99 Bild u. Text Holzschnitte von Claus Wrage zur Divina Commedia.

[Freiburg, Claus Wrage], 1 August 1925.

Folio (380 x 254 mm). [102] leaves, with ten full-pages with original folded woodcuts, hand-printed by Claus Wrage on thin Japan paper (in all, ninety-nine illustrations, each protected by tissue paper). Text in woodcut. Original binding in vellum. On the recto of the last blank, Wrage's pencilled autograph signature.

Provenance: Livio Ambrogio collection.

The very rare, limited edition of one of the masterpieces of the German expressionism: the hand-made work realized by the painter and sculptor Claus Wrage (1891-1984), who draw, engraved and printed the verses and the illustrations. The terzine, in Italian, are framed within woodcut borders. The used ink is jet black, rough to the touch. Wrage's style reminds the one of the Belgian Frans Masereel, author of famous graphic novels.The hand-written colophon-signed and dated by Wrage on 1 August 1925 - indicates that this is the copy no. 3 of an edition which should have included maximum ninety-nine copies. The extreme rarety of the work suggests that the blocks have not stood to a so high number of prints, so then the copies actually completed and bound have been significantly fewer (probabily only 50). The present copy includes two proofs signed in pencil by Wrage.