"On a cloud I saw a child, and he laughing said to me…"
June 10, 2014 6:42 PM   Subscribe

The book is considered the rarest of Sendak’s published work — so rare that it’s practically impossible for even art historians to get their eyes on a copy for scholarly work. To commemorate the 86th birthday of Maurice Sendak (previously), Maria Popova (previously) has published scans of illustrations Sendak did for an ultra-ultra-rare edition of William Blake's Songs of Innocence.
posted by Cash4Lead (13 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
They're not Blake (nothing else is), but they're a really interesting response to Blake. I would have loved to see more of them.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:47 PM on June 10, 2014

You can get a copy of the book on Amazon, for a cool $1,417.50.
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:48 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Some of the pictures remind me of Gustave Dorés work, but cuddlier. I like them a lot.

Some other unheralded but excellent author/illustrator team-ups - Tove Jansson's illustrations for The Hobbit, Mervyn Peake's work on the Through the Looking Glass.
posted by misterbee at 6:53 PM on June 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

There is nothing better than a thing described as a "slim, exquisite volume".

Like seriously Fifty Shades Of Grey could be printed up as a "slim, exquisite volume" and I would probably pay for it.

His illustrations are so fucking joyful. I don't think anything has ever been as formative for me, aside from maybe anything Garth Williams ever did.
posted by Sara C. at 7:22 PM on June 10, 2014 [6 favorites]

Every new post concerning Maria Popova makes me sadder that her [canine diabetes facts/gastric bypass risk/everything else under the sun].com SEO scumbag period has been pretty thoroughly scrubbed from the internet. Maybe she's become a little less sleazy in the intervening years, but the fact that she wouldn't even cop to that stuff when confronted with pretty blatant evidence makes it had for me to take any of her ventures at face value.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 7:52 PM on June 10, 2014 [8 favorites]

Never realized how similar the opening (well, first 2 chapters) of The Little Prince is to the opening of Songs of Innocence. I wonder if that was on purpose. I know technically it doesn't matter but I'm really curious.
posted by bleep at 8:44 PM on June 10, 2014

You can get a copy of the book on Amazon, for a cool $1,417.50.

Sadly, not Prime eligible.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 3:43 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Dream I Shall Never Realise is owning an original Blake. I'll never own one of these books either, which is also sad, but... not in the same league of things that might have made me actually give a toss about earning some serious scratch.

In fact, ss Benito says above, nothing else is. (But there's always Tate Britain thirty minutes away on the Victoria Line, so...)
posted by Devonian at 6:46 AM on June 11, 2014

> there's always Tate Britain thirty minutes away on the Victoria Line

For those of us at greater distances, props to the Tate for getting religion about putting up good clear hi-rez downloadable (i.e. NOT flash-based) reproductions of their incredible holdings.
posted by jfuller at 8:20 AM on June 11, 2014

... good clear hi-rez downloadable ...

This interests me, so I went looking. I found this, which is nice, at about 700x500. Is there somewhere where I can get a higher resolution, because if I can get 2000x3000 it'd be worth firing up the printer.

(Oddly enough, if you go to the "License this image" page, you see this, which has much richer colors. I wonder why they look different?)
posted by benito.strauss at 9:43 AM on June 11, 2014

Oh, nevermind. If you click on the image in my first link, it pops up a higher-res of image about 1500x1000. I just didn't realize it was better because it was shrunk to fit the browser window.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:47 AM on June 11, 2014

benito.strauss, I looked at the stuff I've previously downloaded ftom the Tate and it all seems to be exactly 1536 px by (whatever other dimension matches 1536). Which isn't much for a big painting, I grant you. But for drawings, which is what I go looking for most often, it's not at all bad. Certainly better than postcard-size, which is all there was from all the big name institutions for more years than I care to remember.
posted by jfuller at 10:23 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

jfuller - I'm not complaining. 1500 pixels gives beautiful detail on my computer screen, and not having it behind some pain-in-the-ass Flash interface is wonderful. Thanks for mentioning it. "The Tate has Blake, and you can easily download pretty high-resolution images" is probably FPP-worthy.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:43 AM on June 11, 2014

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