Exceedingly rare first illustrated edition by Edgar Tytgat: One of the rarest of modern illustrated and privately printed books. Published in only 15 numbered copies, signed in pencil by the author (this is copy number 13).
Tytgat, (1879-1957) Belgian painter and book artist, lived in exile during the first World War in London where this book was produced. Choosing the classic French fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood, the book is in every way a personal triumph. Tytgat designed the illustrations, made the woodcuts, was sole typographer of the text (partially printed in red ink), and executed the delicately-printed coloured woodcuts on his hand press in London in January 1917. Tytgat appreciated his illustrations for this large format edition immensely and re used them subsequently for subsequent editions – in smaller format – between 1917 and 1921. Jean-Baptiste Baronion, author of the Dictionnaire amoureux de la Belgique, particularly apprecitated the joyful colours that Tytgat used in his creations (“palette de ravissements”)..
Tytgat’s style is reminiscent of the work of his contemporary Gordon Craig. Though a definite French/Belgian colour scheme separates his work from Craig’s.
The illustration comprises 16 original woodcuts.
“Peintre, imagier, graveur, typographe mais aussi conteur, Edgar Tytgat est un artiste belge aux multiples talents, célèbre pour son illustration du Petit Chaperon rouge sans cesse remise sur le métier entre 1917 et 1921” (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Éloge de la rareté, nº 67, for : Lendemain de la Saint-Nicolas, 1913).
A very nice copy, unwashed and in a fine state of preservation, some occasional spotting. Extremely rare.