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John Hall Thorpe

1874 - 1947

Home (large version) by John Hall Thorpe

Home (large version)   c.1919

  Original woodcut, printed in colours.
Signed and titled in pencil.
Ref: King 16
S 305 x 252 mm; I 203 x 190 mm
Original John Hall Thorpe woodcut, printed in colours.

Excellent signed proof impression with very strong, unfaded colours; printed in dark blue, green, orange and black inks. An exceptionally fine example tipped at upper corners into its original line mount.

The Australian-born artist John Hall Thorpe had learnt the art of colour woodblock printing in the early 1890’s while still living in Sydney; however, he was not to use this art form as a creative medium until many years after his move to London in 1902. Like the key members of the Grosvenor School of Modern Art, Hall Thorpe attended Heatherley’s School of Art and by the end of the First World War he had begun to make the style of colour woodcut through which he was to achieve lasting fame.

Hall Thorpe held his first one man show of his colour woodcuts in London in 1918 and his success was established almost immediately. He became one of the foremost exhibitors at the Colour Woodcut Society, which was formed in 1920, and by 1930 his woodcuts were sold worldwide.

Home was one of the two most notable works produced in the year that Hall Thorpe’s colour woodcut designs were first reproduced in a major international publication. It was in this year, 1919, that Hall Thorpe’s The Wise Men was included alongside the work of Lucien Pissarro, Robert Gibbings and others in the Studio publication Modern Woodcuts and Lithographs by British and French Artists. In recognition of the success of these two designs Hall Thorpe produced a smaller version of both Home and The Wise Men, each of which was printed above a section of verse for display in the home. The text beneath the smaller version of Home read:- “Home / The little house upon the hill / Gleams through the greyness of the night, / Its simple round of work is still / And hushed are all its sounds of life,- /Asleep it seems. / But for a little yellow light that beams. // A very little home – so small / Against the vastness of the sky, / Holding within its narrow wall / The mightiness of love and life, / Its tenderness, / Of kindly thought and dear caress. / Hall Thorpe.”

On smooth cream wove paper with full margins. Some natural toning to the sheet, otherwise very good original condition. Tipped at upper corners into its original line mount – an exceptionally fine example of this proof woodcut in its original setting.