London: Country Life Limited, 1935. Item #03759
With Nine Colored Plates by Edmund Dulac
DULAC, Edmund, illustrator. WILLIAMSON, Hugh Ross. Gods and Mortals in Love. London: Country Life Limited, .
First edition. Large quarto (11 x 8 5/8 inches; 279 x 218 mm.). 83, [1, blank] pp. Nine full-page color plates.
Publisher's cream tweed cloth flecked with royal blue. Front cover and spine decoratively lettered in blue. A near fine copy.
The plates depict various relationships between mythical deities and humans, most of which end tragically…
1. Aphrodite and Adonis
2. Selene and Edymion
3. Pluto and Persephone
4. Psyche and Cerberus
5. Pan and Syrinx
6. Orpheus and Eurydice
7. Jason and Medea
8. Herakles and Deianeira
9. Perseus and Andromeda
"The illustrations in this book have already appeared as front pages in the American weekly.
A book with coloured pictures and an illustrated book are not quite the same thing.
One may say that each has its own function and its own appeal.
This is presented as a book with coloured pictures." (Edmund Dulac, 1935 on verso of title-page).
"…Meanwhile work for American Weekly continued with the publication in February 1931 of Perseus and Andromeda, the first cover for what was to be Dulac's largest series for the magazine; eleven illustrations of tales from Ovid under the title of Love Stories the Ancients Believed In. The pictures portrayed the lovers themselves at the most dramatic moment in the story, but, with the exceptions of the killing of Nessus in Hercules and Dejanira, and the exciting figure of Perseus sweeping down to kill the beast attacking Andromeda, they seemed a departure from Dulac's high standards. The fault lay in his attempt to portray his characters, Pan and Syrinx, Circe and Ulysses, and Pluto and Persephone, as eternal symbols in the manner of Tanglewood Tales, but the larger size of the watercolors meant that his remote, impersonal approach would not work as effectively as in the book, so that the figures appeared posed, and the histrionic gestures and staring eyes, meant to show deep emotion, had no interest. Nevertheless, the illustrations were popular enough to be reprinted in Good Housekeeping with an accompanying text by Hugh Ross Williamson, and, in 1935, were compiled in book form under the title Gods and Mortals in Love. Dulac designed a special cover with a silver Cupid and lettering in the style of an ancient Greek inscription." (White, pp. 144-148).
Hughey, 84; White, 39.