Skæän Gates, an Intaglio engraving, the fourth of the nine intaglios by Stanley William Hayter that illustrate the book-length poem Death of Hektor by Irish poet Brian Coffey.
This poem is a dramatic reinterpretation of Homer’s epic tale from The Iliad. Rather than embrace the traditional view of Achilles as the embodiment of honor, glory, and fame, Coffey and Hayter portray the Greek hero-warrior as a violent and vengeful soldier—his mindless and brutal actions during and after the murder of the Trojan prince Hektor belying his tragic hero status. In this, they challenge the glorification of the culture of war—violence, destruction, and death—elevating the importance of a morally-conscious Hektor, while stressing Homer’s deep insight into the human condition.
Intaglio print in black ink from an engraving, etching, and soft-ground etching on copper plate.
Printed on Crisbook paper, each sheet separately handmade by the legendary (and now shuttered) Barcham Green paper company, specially watermarked “SWH 1976” for this project.
Published by Circle Press, Surrey.
Some of the plates from the Hektor portfolio were printed by Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris and others by Jack Shirreff at 107 Workshop Wiltshire in England.
Hand-signed and dated in pencil by the artist en recto lower right. Numbered in pencil en recto lower left. Titled with Roman numeral “IV” en recto center.
This is impression 23 out of the edition of 300 (aside from 50 copies not for sale). Produced from March through December 1979.
Floated in a black-stained poplar frame behind UV-protective Plexiglass. All conservation materials.
Excellent condition, without damage or flaw; impression bright, crisp, and clear.
11.5 in. (w) x 15.75 in. (h)
295 mm x 215 mm
14.675 in. (w) x 19 in. (h) x 1.5 in. (d)
Black & Moorhead 404; Cont. Artist’s 389-390.