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Leonard Beaumont

1891 - 1986

Beauchief Abbey, Sheffield by Leonard Beaumont

Beauchief Abbey, Sheffield  

  Original etching.
Signed in pencil.
Ref: Not recorded by Dickson.
S 287 x 230 mm; P & I 201 x 153 mm
Original Leonard Beaumont etching.

Very good signed proof impression of this previously undescribed plate.

The only known impression of Beauchief Abbey, Sheffield, one of Leonard Beaumont’s earliest etchings. This work was unknown to Timothy Dickson at the time of writing his catalogue of Beaumont’s printed works (Leonard Beaumont, A Biography and Print Catalogue Raisonné, Derwent-Wye 20th Century, 2013).

Although Leonard Beaumont had learnt the rudiments of printmaking at Sheffield Technical School of Art between 1907 and 1915, he only turned his full attention to etching in 1925, after buying a copy of E.S. Lumsden’s book, The Art of Etching. This impression of Beauchief Abbey is signed with the same style of early pencil signature found on his earliest surviving printed work, The Back of the Farm (Dickson 02), a drypoint dating from 1925, and the plate size corresponds exactly with that of his only other surviving printed work from the same year, Caravans (Dickson 03). In acknowledging Beauchief Abbey as a previously unknown original etching by Leonard Beaumont, Timothy Dickson ascribes the plate to 1926, possibly because the gallery owner Joseph Horner commissioned Beaumont to produce etchings that had ‘local significance’ during the course of that year; however, the plates of 1926 begin to vary in size and are generally signed with the distinctive pencil signature which Beaumont developed for most of his subsequent etchings and drypoints. The scant etched suggestion of clouds seen in Beauchief Abbey is another characteristic of Leonard Beaumont’s very earliest plates; in almost all subsequent works he leaves the sky completely free of line.

After his marriage in September 1921, Leonard Beaumont and his wife settled in a newly-built house at 18 Bents Green Road on the south-western fringes of Sheffield. Beauchief Abbey was most picturesque building in the vicinity, only about one mile from their new home. It was natural that Leonard Beaumont should choose this as the subject of one of his very first etchings.

On heavy wove paper with full margins. Very good original condition.