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Image of swans from Virgil's Eclogues

Virgil.
The Eclogues. New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1960.
Call Number: (SPL)(FOL) PA 6807 .B7 C28 1960
Gift of Loryn Romadka, from the collection of Austin F. Lutter.
Special Collections, Golda Meir Library

This translation of The Eclogues was completed by Charles Stuart Calverley, a classical scholar of the Victorian era, best known for his light verse. Calverley also wrote Latin parodies of Milton and Tennyson in addition to translations of classic Latin texts, such as Virgil.

The artist is the Hungarian-born Vertès (1895-1961), an artist experienced in many media. Focusing originally on drawings and sketches, he worked as a painter and book illustrator in Paris until relocating to New York where he pursued an interest in fashion design. He won two Oscars for his costume designs for the film Moulin Rouge in 1952 and also designed over 800 costumes for Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Illustration from the Eclogues: Woman petting deer

Jean Cocteau, poet, playwright, director, and book illustrator wrote of Vertès:

Tender, charming, pretty, fresh; these words, tarnished by ill-use, should be polished up to a high patine and only then be applied like a white ball dress to Vertès work.

This edition contains twenty-five color illustrations and marks one of the last works by the artist before his death in 1961. The binding is of Asian silk with a silkscreen image by the artist.


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Prepared by Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, and Sarah McDaniel