HOYTEMA, Theodorus van (illustrator). Tine van HOYTEMA (text by). Uilen-Geluk. [Owls' Luck.] Amsterdam; C.M. Van Gogh. 1895.
Slim 4to. Original fawn cloth-backed pictorial boards with an Art Nouveau design to both covers; pp. , on Japanese folded leaves throughout, unopened, as intended; with pictorial vignette to title-page and 19 colour-lithographed plates incorporating text and image; a very attractive copy with some edge rubbing and wear to corners, internally fresh with evidence of rusting to hidden original gutter staples, but otherwise crisp and unmarked.
First edition. Theodorus van Hoytema (1863-1917) was the youngest of 8 children. He was orphaned in his teens and received drawing lessons from that time from his eldest sister. His admiration of the natural world led to him drawing and painting stuffed animals at the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie and going on to win a commission to produce scientific studies. From 1889 to 1890 he became interested in the medium of lithography and in 1893 produced stunning illustrations for his most famous work, an edition of Andersen's The Ugly Ducking. His mental health was always fragile and around the time he was working on this, his final title of five works for children, he spent time in a psychiatric sanatorium. Ironically, while at his weakest he was at his most productive, and simultaneously began producing the famous,and sought-after, Art Nouveau-styled calendars for which he became chiefly known. His beautiful work is clearly informed by Japanese art and breathes a gentle and peaceful melancholy. This book was printed by C.M. Van Gogh who was the uncle of the artist Vincent Van Gogh.