Cantar de Cantares

Alcaíns Codex

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This book consists of eight chapters: two lovers exchanging amorous compliments, a desert of shepherds and places with sonorous names, palm trees and towers, crows and doves. Little more, but the poetry – so delicate, so intense – of each phrase makes us think they were the first words of love ever spoken upon the earth.
The book contains no action. When illustrating it, my intention was for the drawings to capture the beauty of the words and reflect it in colours, lines and blissful lovers – the girl black because the sun has looked upon her.
Of the many Spanish translations, the one by Fr. Luis de León is undoubtedly the one that conveys the archaic grace of these dialogues best. This is the chosen translation. The intention of these pages is simply to sing the praises of love and display it in all its finery.

Javier Alcaíns

Cantar de Cantares Códice Alcaíns
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