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James McBey

1883 - 1959

Rouen by James McBey

Rouen   1916

  Original etching with drypoint.
Signed and numbered in ink.
Ref: Hardie 172
S 211 x 407 mm; P & I 169 x 366 mm
Excellent impression with exceptionally strong line and rich burr to the touches of drypoint, from the only edition of 76 signed proofs.

Made in 1916, before McBey was appointed an official war artist, Rouen was one of a small group of important plates which were based on thumb-notes, and on tiny sketches made in the palm of the artist's hand or on the inside of his pocket, as sketching was against wartime regulations and in many instances could be considered spying. Martin Hardie describes this plate as "a finely designed view of the town with its towers and spires seen from the further bank of the Seine. It is one of McBey's good plates" (p.xv of the 1925 catalogue raisonné).

Rouen Cathedral is seen between the two foreground trees, to the right of these is the tower of St. Ouen, whilst further to the right rises the spire of St. Maclou.

On cream laid paper with fleur-de-lys watermark, with full margins, as issued. Faint time tone within mat window area; one small wormhole in lower margin, otherwise generally very good original condition.