In the last month or so the Book Library has acquired two significant complete sets of correspondence.
The first is van Gogh’s. Many of us will have enjoyed the recent exhibition at the RA, despite the crushed toes and strained eyes. We now have a more leisurely opportunity to peruse the 6
volumes that make up the complete letters, including reproductions of the fabulous illustrations.
This week we have also acquired the complete correspondence of Dante Gabriele Rossetti. Well, almost complete: we are promised a final volume + index in the autumn. So far it stretches to 8 volumes. No pretty pictures this time but it is a work of great scholarship bringing order out of chaos. The history of its publication (spanning almost a decade) was fraught; even more challenging was the process of collating and editing (the original editor did not live to see it completed).
Last year saw the arrival in the Library of a facsimile of Leonardo’s “Leicester Codex”, previously known as the Hammer Codex. The original was bought by Bill Gates in 1994 for $30.8mn making it the most expensive book ever sold. Our limited edition facsimile wasn’t quite that pricey but it does have to reside in CABS – so you’ll have to order it up. Have a look though, it’s magnificent.
A couple of years ago, we changed our policy on catalogues raisonnés. We now actively seek to buy them as they come trickling out. Here are some of the artists (some quite obscure, some less so) whose cat rais we have bought in the last year: Munch, Renoir, Puvis de Chavannes, Zurbaran, Caravaggio, Auerbach, Ensor, Rockwell, Ribera, von Motesicky, Merano, Crotti, Vallotton, Baldassari, Bacciccio, Vaccaro.