Cabinet 16

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In furthering his experimentation with aquatint, JBW produced ten for the first volume of Boccaccio's The Decameron (1954). This image is titled 'Another nun saw what they were doing from the window of her cell' and depicts a scene from the first tale on the third day. It is about Masetto da Lamporecchio who pretends to be deaf and dumb in order to become a gardener to a convent of nuns. Numerous indiscretions result from his employment.

Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron. Vol.1. Westminster [England]: Folio Society, 1954. Special PQ 4272 E5 A3571 1954.


'Ricciardo Minutolo falls in love with the wife of Filippello Fighinolfi. He discovers she is jealous of her husband and tells her that Filippello is going to lie with Ricciardo's wife in a bagnio (Turkish bath). She goes there, thinks she is lying with her husband, but finds it was Ricciardo.' So reads the synopsis of Fiammetta's tale on the third day in Boccaccio's The Decameron. JBW's aquatint depicts the line: 'Ricciardo made no reply; he kept embracing and kissing her more than ever.'

Ricciardo made no reply...'from Boccaccio's The Decameron. Vol. 1. London: Folio Society, 1954. Private Collection.


Promoted as fairy tales for grown ups, this work by psychoanalyst Marie Bonaparte (wife of Prince George of Greece and Denmark; 1882-1962), includes twelve coloured lithographs by JBW. The five stories were translated by John Rodker, a conscientious objector who worked with T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce, started the Casanova Society (1927) and finally Imago Publishing, made notable by publishing the works of Sigmund Freud. JBW died in 1954 after a brief illness. If he had lived longer, he may have gone further in this medium.

Marie Bonaparte, Flyda of the Seas. London: Imago Publishing, 1950. Special PQ 2603 051 G52 1950.

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University of Otago Master of the Burin: The Book Illustrations of John Buckland Wright, 1897 - 1954 <