Paradise Garden. Paintings, Drawings and Poems. With Introduction by Robert Melville. Australian Modernism, Sidney NOLAN.
Paradise Garden. Paintings, Drawings and Poems. With Introduction by Robert Melville
Paradise Garden. Paintings, Drawings and Poems. With Introduction by Robert Melville
Paradise Garden. Paintings, Drawings and Poems. With Introduction by Robert Melville
Paradise Garden. Paintings, Drawings and Poems. With Introduction by Robert Melville
Paradise Garden. Paintings, Drawings and Poems. With Introduction by Robert Melville
Paradise Garden. Paintings, Drawings and Poems. With Introduction by Robert Melville

Paradise Garden. Paintings, Drawings and Poems. With Introduction by Robert Melville

London, R. Alistair McAlpine Publishing Ltd, 1971.

Large quarto, 111 pages with 49 full-page colour plates, each with a colour-decorated transparent overlay.

Full suede lettered in black on the spine; covers lightly rubbed and marked; paperclip mark to the first leaf; a few later leaves slightly cockled; an excellent copy.

Number 51 of only 85 copies of this deluxe edition, numbered and signed by Sidney Nolan. The limitation page indicates that there were 2890 copies of the standard edition, and 110 copies 'bound as de luxe edition | 20 copies with original drawings signed by the Artist'. We currently have in stock two copies of the deluxe edition. Both are signed and numbered by the artist, with the upper limit given as 85; this copy is bound in full suede, the other in full tapa cloth.

A curious and lavish production, 'Paradise Garden' marries Nolan's artistic work with his poetry. The poems are set opposite plates from his monumental 'Paradise Garden' series of 1320 flower paintings, and are overlaid with semi-transparent sheets illustrated after his crayon drawings. The poems themselves are a bitter response to his ménage à trois with John and Sunday Reed at Heide, and the book's publication, thirty years after that relationship dissolved, was not welcomed by them. Of the poems, Nolan wrote to his daughter: 'You remember walking by that little bridge below the Esplanade [Catani Arch at St Kilda] and we talked about writing some poetry. Well I have done some and published them with illustrations of "Paradise Garden". But the poems are the opposite of the paintings. They refer to the rather night-mare period of my life at Heidelberg and are quite savage in a way that never happens in a painting. I hope to one day write a book in which the poetry celebrates rather than castigates, and is more like what I thought about at eighteen standing by that bridge'.

The publisher, Alistair McAlpine, wrote: 'Despite the fact that "Paradise Garden" was a beautiful book in every respect - no expense had been spared in its production - I was only able to sell a small number of copies'. It was, he believed, 'the most original and impressive book that I have ever published'. The book was accompanied by a film of the same name produced by Stuart Cooper, and with narration and recitation by Orson Welles.

Loosely inserted is a small 'with compliments' slip from the publisher, Alistair McAlpine, and a bookseller's postcard stating that this copy 'was given by Robert McAlpine to A.A. van Nufellen, an Anglo-Belgian architect'.

Item #127361

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