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William E.C. Morgan

1903 - 1979

The Source by William E.C. Morgan

The Source   1927

  Original line engraving.
Signed, titled, numbered and dated in pencil.
S 398 x 242 mm; P & I 284 x 142 mm
Excellent impression with clear, crisp line; from the only edition of 50 signed and numbered proofs.

The first and the most striking of W.E.C.Morgan's symbolic nudes, The Source is arguably the artist's most powerful line engraving. W.E.C. Morgan produced only four line engravings of this nature, featuring monumental classical nudes in strangely surreal landscapes, and of these four The Source is by far the best known. Considered to be his finest works as a line engraver these remarkable plates led Malcolm Salaman, the leading critic of the day, to proclaim Morgan a worthy disciple of Albrecht Dürer.

William E.C. Morgan was one of the principal protagonists of the re-introduction of original line engraving to England during the 1920's. He gained the Prix de Rome for engraving in 1924 and producing some of the finest and most elaborate line engravings of the period. Fifty-one titles of his printed works have now been traced but, despite extensive research in both England and America, it has not yet been possible to locate examples of all of these subjects today.

A masterpiece of original line engraving, The Source depicts the imaginary guardian of the spring of life where it rises amongst the gnarled and twisted trees of an enchanted wood. It was through this work, in 1927, that W.E.C. Morgan rose from being regarded simply as a talented line engraver, to being seen an original printmaker of true imaginative power.

The Source was chosen as Morgan's exhibition piece at the Royal Academy of Art in 1928 (item1157) and it went on to win him the Logan Medal in the Chicago Society of Etchers International Exhibition, at the Art Institute of Chicago later that year.

On cream laid Van Gelder Zonen paper with full margins and deckle edges. Faint time tone within mat window area, otherwise very good original condition. Image surface excellent.