Emile Antoine Verpilleux

1888 – 1964

see works by this artist




Emile A. Verpilleux was the first artist to have a colour print hung at the Royal Academy in London, and he is now widely considered to have been one of the finest colour woodcut printmakers working in Britain in the first half of the 20th century. Born Notting Hill, London, of a French father (also called Emile Antoine Verpilleux), and a Scottish mother (Edith Verpilleux, née Beard), E.A.Verpilleux junior was educated in France and at the Académie des Beaux Arts in Antwerp. He began printmaking as a wood engraver, but soon became interested in making colour woodcuts. Emile Verpilleux developed his own highly original techniques for producing a subtle gradation of colour across the various blocks used in printing his comparatively large-scale works. In particular, he adopted the style through which the principal subject of his image was shown effectively in silhouette, backlit by striking colours which would diffuse gradually across the background of the image.