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Portrait of C..P Cavafy, from the suite 'C.P.Cavafy in Alexandria'

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    1966 (printed)
    1967 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hockney, David, born 1937 (artist)
    Alecto Studios (printer)
    Editions Alecto Ltd. (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    etching and aquatint on paper

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.514-1968

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case MP 207A

Although commonly grouped with the Pop artists who emerged in Britain in the 1960s, David Hockney was less influenced in his image making by mass media, advertising and the consumer society than by his private life (his imagery often focuses on friends and familiar places), traditional literature and gay culture. The Alexandria-born Greek Cavafy, whom he discovered in 1960, was one of his favourite poets. In 1966 Hockney travelled to Beirut in search of the kind of atmosphere he imagined Alexandria would have had at the time when Cavafy was writing there. However the images which he ultimately made to illustrate a selection of Cavafy's poems are mostly of young male couples which could have been made in many places apart from Egypt in the early 20th century. It is their simplicity and frankness which reflect the quality of Cavafy's writing which appealed to Hockney. The portrait of the poet sets the scene for the ensuing illustrations.

Physical description

Head and shoulders portrait of a man wearing round-rimmed spectacles, jacket, collar and tie, against a background of distant buildings on a skyline: a long arcade, a high and a low apartment block; in front of the buildings a row of palm trees.

Place of Origin

London (published)

Date

1966 (printed)
1967 (published)

Artist/maker

Hockney, David, born 1937 (artist)
Alecto Studios (printer)
Editions Alecto Ltd. (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

etching and aquatint on paper

Marks and inscriptions

David Hockney '66 38/75
C.P.CAVAFY IN ALEXANDRIA Alexandria
ea 362
signed, dated and numbered in pencil. Lettered within the plate (at the top), in capitals,with title. Stamped on the back with the publisher's mark and number

Dimensions

Height: 57 cm sheet, Width: 39.2 cm sheet, Height: 34.7 cm plate, Width: 22.2 cm plate

Descriptive line

David Hockney: Portrait of the poet C.P.Cavafy. Etching and aquatint 1966

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Andrew Brighton: David Hockney Prints 1954-1977[Catalogue Raisonne]. Midland Group Gallery, Nottingham/ Scottish Arts Council. 1979. no. 47

Production Note

One of a suite of 12 plates to: Fourteen Poems by C.P. Cavafy. Chosen and Illustrated with twelve etchings by David Hockney. Translated by Nikos Stangos and Stephen Spender. Published by Editions Alecto Limited, London 1967. This illustration accompanies the poem 'The mirror at the entrance'

Subjects depicted

Homosexuality; Poet

Categories

Portraits; Prints; Gender and Sexuality

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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