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Muirhead Bone

1876 - 1953

First Study for <i>The Ballantrae Road</i> by Muirhead Bone

First Study for The Ballantrae Road   1907

  Original drypoint.
Signed and inscribed in pencil.
Ref: Campbell Dodgson 209 i/ii
S 153 x 222 mm: P & I 91 x 173 mm
Muirhead Bone’s first inspired conception of The Ballantrae Road composition. Brilliant working proof impression with exceptionally rich drypoint burr.

One of only 9 proofs printed in the first state of the plate (this impression is numbered ‘4’ in pencil at the extreme lower right corner of the sheet to indicate the fourth impression to have been printed from the plate). Only 3 proofs were printed in the second state of this plate after the artist’s signature had been added at the lower left of the image. The Ballantrae Road was to become one of Muirhead Bone’s most famous plates and is considered to be one of the great masterpieces of the British Etching Revival.

A superb early proof impression of this fundamentally important work, printed with carefully wiped plate tone across the upper part of the sky.

Muirhead Bone exhibited an impression of this work at the Society of Twelve in January 1908. Bone went on to experiment with this composition on two further plates in 1908, before achieving the final composition of his famous The Ballantrae Road in a fourth plate later that year.

The composition captures the bleak, spacious atmosphere of the Ayrshire coast near the village of Ballantrae between Stranraer and Girvan on the road which leads to the famous Turnberry golf course.

On simile Japan paper with wirelines, with full margins. Mild time tone in outer margins and evidence of old adhesive at the extreme edge of the sheet, otherwise very fine original condition. Image surface excellent.