Original Robin Tanner etching.
Exceptionally strong trial proof impression printed by the artist himself, prior to the edition of 50 impressions printed in 1929. (A second edition of 12 impressions was printed in 1982 after the plate had been extensively reworked).
Inscribed in pencil by the artist “Special Trial Proof" at left and "Christmas 1928” at right.
Robin Tanner was the youngest of the Goldsmiths’ College group of etchers who followed in the footsteps of Samuel Palmer and F.L. Griggs. Tanner’s inspiration and consistent subject matter was the cottages, landscapes and rural life of Wiltshire and Cotswold England. This was the countryside in which he had grown up and his etchings display a passion and intensity which reflect an innate and intimate knowledge of this pastoral setting.
The Gamekeeper’s Cottage is Tanner’s most elaborate image of the rich rustic fullness of a rural life, now all but lost. The artist’s attention to detail throughout this carefully wrought etched work has conveyed a sense of tangible reality to this ideal vision of English rustic life. In this respect The Gamekeeper’s Cottage is perhaps the most all embracing of his etched works – every aspect of the gamekeeper’s life is summed up in this intricate etching – Tanner has shown us his home and how he lives; the gun which symbolises his work hangs above the kitchen door; and beyond the threshold of this homely scene he has shown the gamekeeper himself (in fact the artist’s brother), at his daily toil in the setting of this pastoral existence. Here, truly the artist has suggested a deep yearning for the rich fullness of this simple life consistent with the finest etched works of the ‘Ancients’ before him.
An impression of this etching was hung alongside Tanner’s large plate of Christmas at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1929, marking the highpoint of Tanner’s etched work.
On cream laid paper with full margins and deckle edge. Very fine condition. Image surface excellent.