Outstanding impression, with exceptionally rich velvety drypoint burr. From the only edition of 75 signed proofs.
From the personal collection of Harold J. Wright, the famous cataloguer and expert in charge of prints at Colnaghi’s throughout the British Etching Revival.
Malcolm Osborne’s masterpiece of portraiture, Mrs. Heberden represents the culmination of nearly twenty years’ experience as one of the most talented printmakers of his generation. Malcolm Osborne’s natural genius as a printmaker was clear from the very outset of his pupillage under Sir Frank Short. Malcolm Osborne was to become a printmaker of quite outstanding technical ability, being elected an Associate Engraver of the Royal Academy on the strength of his printmaking alone. Malcolm Osborne went on to succeed Sir Frank Short first as head of the Engraving School at the Royal College of Art (in 1924) and later as President of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (in 1939).
Mrs. Heberden is a remarkable achievement in drypoint portraiture. Not only has the artist represented the features of his sitter with extraordinary accuracy, but also, in the words of Malcolm Salaman “the artist suggests by this dignified old lady’s wise and benevolent expression, as she enjoys the comfortable support of her great chair, the gracious circumstance of a life well and contentedly lived”. This drypoint must be regarded as one of the most intuitive and monumental portraits of its time.
This drypoint was reproduced, full page, in both Print Collector’s Quarterly, Vol. XII, p.307, and Fine Prints of the Year 1924, plate 36 – in the latter of these two publications Mrs. Heberden was declared to be “decidedly one of the finest prints of the year”.
On cream wove paper with wide margins. Very fine condition. Image surface excellent.