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ISAAC NEWTON. KAWANABE KYOSAI & NAKAGANE MASAHIRA. - [Sekai Fuzoku Orai - gai hen].

 1468727112,
Tokyo, 1873 (Meiji 6). 230x155mm publisher's wrapper (a bit used); two full page colour woodblock prints by Kyosai. Minor signs of use, pretty good. ¶ Could there be a better portrait of Isaac Newton? I doubt it. Where else have you seen the fierce intellect and the majestic dignity of the warrior king of science so well embodied? In one piercing moment he has seen into the secret heart of all things, made his ruling and brought order to an unruly universe. Having decreed how that apple had moved through space and where it now rests he defies it to move again. The other picture is of the young James Watt making his first steam powered discoveries. The myth of child Watt and the kettle seems to date from 1839 with Arago's Eloge of James Watt and in picture a few years later; the earliest I found is an 1844 wood engraving in Jerrold's Illuminated Magazine illustrating a fanciful retelling by Angus Reach. Kyosai's picture is closer in form to Buss's 1845 painting than Marcus Stone's 1863 reworking of the story but it is clear that he has worked - as with Newton and the apple - from the story rather than any pictorial model. OCLC finds only the Diet Library copy of this but Waseda University has a sadly chewed copy they illustrate online. Included with this is the companion but separate work 'Sekai Fuzuko Orai hatsu hen'. This has no title label and has some pretty insignifcant worming at the beginning; with two full page woodcuts.
AUD 750.00 [Appr.: EURO 469.5 US$ 532.58 | £UK 401.25 | JP¥ 59268] Book number 10558

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