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IRISH ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATION 1830-1930

Caption: Samson and Delilah

Caption:
Samson and Delilah
Artist:
Gibbings, Robert
Materials:
Paper (fiber material), Ink
Techniques:
Wood engraving
Engraver:
Gibbings, Robert
Author:
Gibbings, Robert
Title of Publication:
Samson and Delilah
Publisher:
Golden Cockerel Press
Publication place:
Waltham Saint Lawrence, Berkshire
Publication date:
1925
Curator Comment:
Robert Gibbings acquired the Golden Cockerel Press in 1924. The prospect of having complete control over the book-making process appealed greatly to the Cork-born wood engraver. Under his stewardship, the press gained a high, international reputation for the artistic quality of its publications.
Note on artwork:
Conceived as a publication for bibliophiles and lovers of fine engraving, 'Samson and Delilah' was published in a limited edition of 325 copies in October 1925. It contained six wood engravings by Gibbings. Rejecting the textural, ragged style of contemporary continental Expressionism, Gibbings' engravings comprise austere, cleanly-cut, well-defined forms, relieved by refined pattern-making, and balanced contrasts between black and white. Depicted here is the dramatic moment before Delilah cuts Samson’s hair, the source of his strength. Gibbings creates an image that is both threatening and sensuous, through the balance of curving, undulating human forms and piercing characterisation.
References:
Martin J. Andrews, The life and work of Robert Gibbings (Bicester, 2003).


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