Eve and the Serpent
|A copy of the original print|
This print (in 1896 called a chromo-xylograph) is regarded the first modern woodblock print created in England. The original, I really have no idea how many or how few prints were pulled from the original blocks nor about their where a-bouts, I've found only one copy of it in the internet.
It was created in 1896 by John Dickson-Batten (1860-1932) and Frank Morley-Fletcher (1866-1949) in a joint effort. Some of the struggle creating it, technical details concerning the method of printing and registering, was revealed by JDB himself in the Studio Magazine in 1896 with this article and the issue also held a "photo-mechanical reproduction" of the print. (Click pictures to embiggen and read: interesting stuff !)
Taken the Magazines reputation it must have been the best available high quality technical method of reproduction and quite an achievement.
I have also no idea how rare this Studio photo-mechanical edition is. How many copies may have survived time ? But I did find this offer in America, wondering about the selling price (?)
Read more and all about Dickson-Batten and Morley-Fletcher in Charles' Modern Printmakers Blog. He is after all the expert on British printmakers. There's nothing I could wish to add there, but:
I found these two lovely contemporary computerized designs (said to be) based on illustrations by Dickson Batten for "Celtic Ferry Tales" (1892) but so far I have not been able to find the original illustrations. The book on the shelf (right) seems to have the name Remark on its back. I wonder which book this was.
And I found this charming Mermaid printed (with a kind of "Japanese wash" background) as a bookplate by Dickson-Batten. I hadn't seen it before.
(As Charles stated in the comments it was actually created by his brother)
Batten and Fletcher followed in the footsteps of Auguste Lepère (1849-1918) and Henri Rivière (1864-1851) who just a few years before were the first to try at the Japanese way of printmaking. Here's Lepère with a very Japanese print of his convalescent wife on the Brittany coast. It is 1892 !
and here in 1898 in a more traditional way of (European, claire-obscure) printmaking with "Eve Repentant" after the statue of August Rodin. She was published as a print in the Studio in 1898. Its method of reproduction was not given as "photo-mechanical" but as "woodcut in two blocks by A. Lepère after the staue of A. Rodin". Signed in the block lower right: the real thing ?
Studio supplement prints are very sought after and highly collectable prints. The earliest ones said to be extremely rare. I, however, have no idea concerning their market value of true scarcity but it a lovely print it is. Maybe an expert reader can enlighten me (us).
All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.
Visit my renewed Galerie Ondine with nice pre-owned art.
Weekly upload of many nice prints.
(Both Studio Eve's are available,
see there for suggestions and conditions)