Wednesday, January 4, 2023

596. The Dial in Italy

In some European countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, Ricketts and Shannon's early publications were noted, and sometimes more positively received, than in Britain. This is less so in Mediterranean countries, such as Spain and Italy, where occasional attention was nevertheless paid to these artists.

Emporium, August 1895: cover

In 1897, Andrea Mellerio devoted an article to the new book arts in the UK for Emporium magazine, ‘Il rinnovamento della stampa’ (Emporium, March 1897, pp. [323]-336), illustrating the title page of the first Vale Press edition, Milton's Early Poems.

Earlier, in August 1895, Emporium contained an essay by the Italian art historian Giulio Carotti (1852-1922), 'Della decorazione moderne in Inghilterra' (Emporium, August 1895, pp. [120]-129), illustrating works by Edward Burne-Jones (1), Walter Crane (10), William Morris (4), H.B. Scott (4), Aubrey Beardsley (1), R. Anning Bell (2), Oliver Brackett (1), and Charles Ricketts (1). 

Cover for The Dial, No. 3 (1893)
in Emporium, August 1895

The cover of The Dial No. 3 (1893), designed by Ricketts, was shown. Its style and symbolism was not (like, Walter Cane's art) associated with the Florentine Renaissance, but with that in Germany:

Tal altra volta ci danno reminiscenze dell'antica arte tedesca, come nella copertina del "Dial" splendida revista che pubblicasi ad intervalli irregolari dal Ricketts e dal Shannon, due dei migliori e piĆ¹ stimati illustratori contemporanei, oppure inspirata alla vecchia arte dei miniatori inglesi del medio evo. Di questo stile abbiamo un saggio nel titolo o frontispizio dei componimenti poetici di Dante Gabriele Rossetti dipinto dal Morris. (At other times they give us reminiscences of ancient German art, as in the cover of the splendid 'Dial' magazine published at irregular intervals by Ricketts and Shannon, two of the best and most esteemed contemporary illustrators, and sometimes inspired by the old art of the English illuminators of the Middle Ages.)

It was just one illustration and it did not bring about a breakthrough in Italy: the influence of Ricketts and Shannon would not extend to modern Italian book art.