frenchtwist:Oscar Wilde’s The Sphinx, 1894. Illustrated by Charles Ricketts.
Perhaps the most beautiful book designed in the 1890s, The Sphinx is a tour de force of decadent style. Wilde’s elaborate poem inspired Charles Ricketts type design, use of three muted colors of ink - cinnamon, forest, and black - and his exquisite woodcut illustrations. Ricketts and his lover Charles Shannon were members of Wilde’s circle and Wilde was a frequent visitor to their studio, The Vale. Basil Hallward’s studio in the opening scene of The Picture of Dorian Gray is modeled after their studio. [ftp]