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William Larkins

1901 – 1974

Bettwys Valley, the Silent Pool by William Larkins

Bettwys Valley, the Silent Pool   1922

  Original etching and drypoint, together with the original pencil drawing for the composition.
Drypoint inscribed by the artist in pencil.
Cooke 28 ii/ii
Drypoint: S 253 x 395 mm; P 200 x 299 mm; I 198 x 295 mm
Pencil drawing: S 205 x 334 mm; I 189 x 297 mm

One of only 5 proofs ever printed from this plate (the plate is known to have been cancelled). A truly outstanding proof impression with exceptionally rich drypoint burr. Inscribed by the artist in pencil "Trial Proof - No.1/2 Imp 4. 2nd State -" and below "Imp.4. 2nd-State". (Cooke records only 4 impressions printed from this plate, in fact 3 proofs were printed in the first state and two in this completed state, after which the plate was cancelled. The cancelled plate is in private hands in Essex). Sold together with the original pencil drawing for the composition.

One of William Larkins's earliest plates, made while still studying under Malcolm Osborne at Golsmiths' College, Bettwys Valley, the Silent Pool displays the young artist's natural gift for printmaking. When compared with the careful accuracy of the accompanying drawing Larkins' work on the copper is executed with the decisive fluency of a born printmaker. Only a few etched lines are found, whilst the bulk of the image has been drawn freely upon the plate with the drypoint needle. Frank Brangwyn was so impressed by Larkins' early works of Belgium and Wales such as Bettwys Valley, the Silent Pool that he gave him an introduction to a well-known London dealer and publisher of prints and wrote him a testimonial in his own hand - a rare compliment from a famous artist known for his lack of personal availability.

It was in the year that this drypoint was made, 1922, that William Larkins was elected a member of the Print Society.

Both the pencil drawing and the drypoint are on cream wove paper with full margins and deckle edges. The drypoint has the artist's original pin marks around the outer edges of the sheet. Both sheets are in very good original condition.