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Sir Frank Short

1857 - 1945

A Span of Old Battersea Bridge by Frank Short

A Span of Old Battersea Bridge   1899

  Original aquatint with soft ground etching.
Signed in pencil.
Hardie 155
S 300 x 442 mm; P & I 190 x 296 mm
Excellent signed proof impression of this striking subject.

An astonishingly versatile printmaker, Sir Frank Short appears to have achieved an absolute mastery of each and every printmaking technique to which he turned his hand. This plate exemplifies the artist’s attention to technical detail in creating the widely varied textures and contrasts, which he desired in the final print image. Frank Short used a spirit-ground for the distant aquatint, seen through the span of the bridge, to convey an air of transparency; whilst a more coarse ground, laid using a dust box, was employed for the heavy foreground timbers.

The artist himself recorded that “the bridge part was got on the plate, in the first instance, by biting through bichromated gelatine, using for the transfer by light a chalk-and-wash drawing on thin paper made transparent by varnish. This was afterwards strengthened by soft-ground and by re-biting with other aquatint grounds – possibly two or three. The distance was done last by ordinary stopping-out”. (The Art of Etching, E.S. Lumsden, 1925). The finished result is a remarkable painterly work, which openly reflects the care and expertise which had gone into its creation. Frank Short’s choice of subject and view in this image is a clear nod to the work of J.A.McN. Whistler, whose prints had been so influential upon Frank Short’s early etchings.

On cream simile Japan paper with full margins. Very good condition.