circa 1931. Wood-engraving, single card leaf measures 6 x 8 1/2 inches, captioned image measures 3 3/4 x 4 7/8 inches, blank verso. Gentle creasing and marginal foxing, not affecting image. Item #414
"GODSPEED" Stunning Rockwell Kent wood-engraving from the early 1930s, a bow to the divine presence wholly characteristic of Kent during the artistic summit of his career. Rockwell Kent was not an orthodox believer but there was a pervasive spirituality underlying his early work. He was under the influence of William Blake, Friedrich Nietzsche, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau when he declared his intention to pursue the transcendent: "I don't want petty self-expression; I want the elemental, infinite thing; I want to paint the rhythm of eternity." Kent seemed to possess a reverence for angels as they were a constant theme in his work between the first and second world wars. Kent depicts an enormous angel, stretched horizontally above a tiny ship silhouetted against the radiant Northern Lights, guiding it as it toils across a nighttime sea. "Godspeed" was created by Kent in the early 1930s as a Christmas card for Guthrie and Florence Courvoisier of San Francisco. Guthrie was a fine art dealer who collaborated with the Walt Disney Company to produce the animated cels known as "Courvoisier Cels." See Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1971-2-520 and 1971-2-376. An image of great power and hope.