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Emile Antoine Verpilleux

1888 – 1964

St. Paul’s Cathedral - Twilight by Emile Antoine Verpilleux

St. Paul’s Cathedral - Twilight   1924

  Original woodcut, printed in colours.
Signed in pencil.
S 381 x 510 mm; I 357 x 457 mm
Excellent signed proof impression from the only edition with good, unfaded colours.

Emile A. Verpilleux was the first artist to have a colour print hung at the Royal Academy in London, and he is now widely considered to have been one of the finest colour woodcut printmakers working in Britain in the first half of the 20th century. Born Notting Hill, London, of a French father (also called Emile Antoine Verpilleux), and a Scottish mother (Edith Verpilleux, née Beard), E.A.Verpilleux junior was educated in France and at the Académie des Beaux Arts in Antwerp. He began printmaking as a wood engraver, but soon became interested in making colour woodcuts. Emile Verpilleux developed his own highly original techniques for producing a subtle gradation of colour across the various blocks used in printing his comparatively large-scale works, whilst using silhouette to give shape and force to his designs. As a leading member of the Colour Woodcut Society, formed in 1920, Emile Verpilleux is considered to have been amongst the most influential of the artists responsible for the resurgence in colour relief printing in England.

In St.Paul's Cathedral Verpilleux has imbued the cathedral with a sense of power, emphasising the immensity of the famous structure as it looms through the misty London rain, over the passers by and busy traffic in the streets beneath it.

The leading connoisseur and critic of printmaking during the 1920's, Malcolm C. Salaman, selected this print for particular praise amongst the masterpieces of colour woodcuts of the era in The Woodcut of Today (The Studio, London, 1927).

Full, untrimmed sheet. Some mild foxing, otherwise generally very good original condition.