Original Malcolm Osborne drypoint.
Rare early signed proof impression, printed on firm simile Japan paper. Prior to the published edition.
Very good impression of this fine etching after the painting by Thomas Gainsborough. Osborne produced only a very few etchings and drypoints which reproduce the work of other artists, the present work having been commissioned expressly by The Art Journal (in which the normal unsigned edition was published).
Thomas Gainsborough's oil painting of Mrs. Sarah Siddons (painted 1783-5) is considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces of its period. Thoré-Burger saw this painting in the Manchester exhibition of 1857, and wrote as follows (quoted by Waterhouse): 'The great tragic actress, who interpreted the passions with such energy and such feeling, and who felt them so strongly herself, is better portrayed in this simple half length, in her day dress, than in allegorical portraits as the Tragic Muse or in character parts. This portrait is so original, si individual, as a poetic expression of character, as a deliberate selection of pose, as bold colour and free handling, that it is like the work of no other painter. It is useless to search for parallels, for there are none. Veronese a little - but no. it is a quite personal creation. This is genius.'
On firm simile Japan paper with margins. Very fine original condition. Image surface excellent.