St. Botolph's Bridge (No. 1). 1917. Etching. Comstock 19.iv. 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 (sheet 9 3/8 x 8 5/8). Edition 50 in this state (total 70 proofs in 4 states.) A rich impression with plate tone printed on 'KF' laid paper. Signed and annotated 'imp' in pencil, indicating a proof printed by the artist. Housed in an elegant 18 1/4 x 12 1/8-inch gold leaf frame. $1,850.
Comstock writes: 'The title of this plate comes of course from the implied dedication of the chapel (which would give such a bridge its name) to St. Botolph, the East Anglian Benedictine Abbot, and patron of travellers in the Middle Ages. The scene suggests the watch of the Church over the doings of men and the nature of travel in mediaeval England -- slow and difficult and sometimes dangerous -- through a landscape of almost unimaginable beauty. Stormy seasons would have cast the stones and boulders about the foundations of the chapel (perhaps one may read an allegory here), and have inspired some pious mason to the roughly cut inscription, the 11th and 12th verses of the 91st Psalm:
Quoniam angelis suis mandauir de te ut custodiant te in omnibus uiis tuis.
In manibus portabunt te ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum.
'For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.'
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