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James McBey

1883 - 1959

Amsterdam from Ransdorp by James McBey

Amsterdam from Ransdorp   1910

  Original etching.
Signed and numbered in ink.
Hardie 74
S 201 x 305 mm; P & I 125 x 228 mm
Outstanding early proof impression, printed in warm, brownish black ink, with plate tone carefully wiped to enhance the sense of perspective and chiaroscuro throughout the image. An exceptionally fine proof impression from the only edition of 40 signed and numbered proofs. Scarce.

This particular proof was purchased by its previous owner at James McBey’s first exhibition, held at the Gallery of Messrs. Goupil & Co., 25 Bedford St, London, in November 1911.

In July 1910, with only a few pounds in his pocket, James McBey left the bank at which he worked in Aberdeen and embarked on his first great adventure, setting sail for Holland – the land of Rembrandt. This first trip abroad was to produce 21 etched plates, loosely termed ‘the Dutch set’, although they were never released as a continuous group. Drawn directly onto the plate on 29 August 1910, this marvellous distant view of the city of Amsterdam, seen from Ransdorp, possesses a spacious vision which was to be the hallmark of so many of James McBey’s greatest prints. Amsterdam from Ransdorp is universally accepted as one of the finest etchings in McBey’s ‘Dutch set’.

Provenance: Collection of R. Skinner, Esq.. An accompanying card is inscribed “Amsterdam from Runsdorp. This proof was shown in McBey’s first exhibition in London, when I bought it. In 1910 I think. R. Skinner.”

On antique laid paper from an old ledger or book, with full margins. Very fine original condition. Image surface excellent.