Eily – Austin Spare’s Muse by Dr William Wallace. In this multi-faceted book, Dr Wallace analyses Spare’s debt to Theatre, Shakespeare, the Classics, Lewis Carroll and Nietzsche. At the centre of this literary and philosophical orbit we find the artist’s wife.
From The Arcadians chorus line to Spare’s life-model, Eily Shaw is brought out of the shadows for the first time and her influence upon Spare’s art and life is measured. There is no doubt that for a very short time she became his muse; during which he produced The Book of Pleasure.
We reproduce for the first time a drawing intended for The Book of Pleasure, and a key section revolves around notions of the irrational and laughter implicit to Spare’s magnum opus.
There is also assessment of Spare’s Tarot deck, revealing his early awareness of Alchemical symbolism.
And the influence of Hogarth’s satires upon Earth: Inferno and A Book of Satyrs.
- This publication also Features:
A biographical sketch by Alison Henry (Eily’s granddaughter), revealing key details for the first time.
- A fascinating survey of Muses and Oracles of the Greek myths by Caroline Wise. This features a beautiful Delphic Oracle painted by Spare, reproduced here in colour for the first time.
- Afterword by Stephen Pochin, examining Spare’s appropriation of depictions of actresses from Edwardian theatre postcards. Several key stars of the period ending up in A Book of Satyrs. He also offers the solution to a mystery; the identification of the model who replaced Eily in his drawings of nudes from 1919-22, some of which appear in The Golden Hind.
Featuring 80 colour images; several unpublished works by Spare.