Brno: [Grafický klub pro Moravu], 1925. Folio (44 × 32 cm). Recent gray portfolio with gilt-tooled title to front board; letterpress-printed title, introductory text, and seven plates of dry point etchings (one duplicate leaf!), some signed in the plate, and six prints signed in pencil by the artist (only duplicate leaf unsigned). One leaf with the artist's stamp to top verso, evidently once framed during an exhibition. A few leaves lightly toned; else very good, in fine portfolio. Item #6368
First and only edition of this suite of six etchings by Bochořáková-Dittrichová (1894-1980), the Czech writer and artist, who was primarily active in the woodcut medium. Bochořáková-Dittrichová has recently garnered fame for being the first woman to work in the medium of the wordless, or graphic, novel, contributing to its development in the early twentieth century. While studying printmaking in Paris in the 1920s, she was influenced by Belgian graphic artist Frans Masereel, but in contrast to his controversial, socially critical subjects, her similarly evocative woodcuts create room for more subjective, domestic, and even feminine motifs within the genre. She went on to a long and often international career, with exhibits in Paris, Antwerp, Philadelphia, Zurich, Buenos Aires, and Vienna throughout the 1920-30s. A passionate traveler, she authored several illustrated travelogues, such as her recollections on the Soviet Union.
Though Bochořáková-Dittrichová is primarily known for her woodblock prints, here she chose etchings to render her impressions of one of Europe's oldest greenhouses, at Lednice Castle in Northern Moravia. Her interest in reality gives way to the volatile imagination of the dream incarnate. Weightless lines slide along the elegant curves of the plants, contrasting with the greenhouse's lattice which preserves this paradise from the outside world. The ephemeral female figure then underscores the dreaminess of this series. With a leaf of introductory text by Josef Chaloupka.
The first five plates measure approximately 41 × 30 cm; the sixth bears the artist's personal stamp on the back and measures 38 × 29 cm and was probably lent by the artist and framed for an exhibition. The differing paper quality of the individual prints and the artist's stamp suggest that this set was assembled over time, possibly gifted by the artist herself later in life. Housed in a later attractive gray portfolio. From an unknown number of copies.
KVK and OCLC only show the copy at the Czech National Library in Prague. Individual leaves are also held by the Moravian Gallery in Brno.