Monday, 2 January 2012

Around Antwerpen School of Printmaking (V)

Emile Antoine Verpilleux (II).
British painter, portraitist,
woodengraver, illustrator and
Modern Printmaker

York Minster (1920)

In the 1913 Studio article it is mentioned when in Antwerp Verpilleux was persuaded switching his painterly ambitions to woodengraving and printmaking. By a Canadian artist "who knew the ropes". Verpilleux was a good painter both in oil and watercolor, and a great portrait painter. He was one of the few artists who could capture a portrait in woodblock print too as I intend showing you later with some great examples) and was to become an important book illustrator. This article in the Studio I think started Verpilleux' career as a printmaker as it was mentioned that when back in London his art was received at first with indifference by the critics and galleries.

Bootham Bar and York Minster, etching by Henri George Walker (1876-1932

In next episode I intend revealing the identity (a 100 years later) of the artist with the great forsight that Studio reporter James Bolivar Manson would not mention by name in his Studio article for reasons I can only guess at.

York Minster (1935) by Fred Taylor (1875-1963), railway poster.

Verpilleux' great York Minster print is available at Paramour Fine Arts in the US. For serious collectors only.   


  1. Gerrie, what you said about Verpilleux first making prints is very interesting indeed. I didn't see that bit in The Studio. I begin to wonder if he worked from photographs when I saw this post.

    Greetings from Naples. Charles

  2. I have been digging around quite a bit I can tell you. Surely did he use photographs. They all did, even before him. It was a great help and painters saw the possibilities of photography as soon as it was intruduced. He must have know William Hyde's photogravures. And as I will show later (and proof you right) he most definitely used them in his woodblock portraits. I even found some of the photographs he used. Thanks and enjoy your last week.