The Descent from the Tower

The Descent from the Tower

Paul Woodroffe

Wood-engraving, engraved by Clemence Housman

5½ x 3 inches

Housman, Laurence, trans.Aucassin and Nicolette , facing p. 25.

Another elegant, Pre-Raphaelite design which closely reflects the influence of Housman, especially his images of ascending and descending. Woodroffe’s illustration bears interesting comparison with the pictorial frontispiece to Housman’s .The Sensitive Plant.However, Woodroffe adds inflections of his own – notably in his creation of a mysterious atmosphere, and especially in his emphasis on the vertiginous nature of the descent, which is both a physical experience and a correlative of the character’s anxiety as moves downward into an Escher-like labyrinth.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

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