Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1978

20 x 16.4cm, printed black on cream outer folder content of a single 20 x 16.4cm offset lithograph on light blue paper.
The folder has “BOIS D’AMOUR. (‘LE TALISMAN’)” printed at the top and the inner sheet has “Lavender Water” printed at the bottom. On the back of the folder there is also the mention that the work is “An “Homage to Sérusier.”
Paul Sérusier was an abstract French painter (who was a pioneer of abstract art and an inspiration for the avant-garde Nabis movement who Finlay honours elsewhere in his works) painted a major work known as “Le Talisman” in 1888 that showed a bridge crossing into a wood. That painting is usually regarded as the first of the Nabis works. The French title of the work is “Paysage au Bois d’Amour” – hence the title of Finlay’s work here.
The words Lavender Water found on the second sheet are not only associated with an over-sweet smelling perfume much beloved of old ladies but is also the colour of the water under the bridge in the Serusier painting.
This was the second of Finlay’s “colour paper” works (a term we have coined to categorise these innovative works) after his earlier L’embarquement pour l’Ile de Cychere of 1975. VG+>

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