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Winifred Austen

1876 – 1964

Grizzlies by Winifred Austen

Grizzlies   1909

  Original etching with drypoint.
Signed in pencil.
Ref: Print Connoisseur III (1923), p.51.
S 446 x 627 mm; P & I 303 x 473  mm
Original Winifred Austen etching with drypoint.

Winifred Austen’s most powerful etched work and one of her largest plates.

Winifred Austen excelled in the depiction of animals and is considered to be one of the finest wildlife etchers of the British Etching Revival. The fine handling of her acutely observed subjects compares closely with that of the Detmold brothers.

Grizzlies stands out amongst Winifred Austen’s work for both its size and dramatic force. The majority of Winifred Austen’s etchings are small in scale and tend to be charming studies of British field animals and common wild birds. This striking image is in complete contrast with her normal mundane imagary. Here, the awsome power of the grizzly bear standing over its kill has been realised in a stark imaginary setting. The threat of danger is further accentuated by the approaching figures of three of the bear’s pack, coming to join the feast. Overhead, carrion crows wheel in anticipation of the final pickings.

Winifred Austen has displayed her true mastery of the etched medium in her handling of the animals’ contours and the fur textures in this plate. This grim but compelling image stands as one of this artist’s great masterpieces in the etched medium.

Provenance: Collection of Neil Green, Esq., and with his collector’s stamp at extreme corner of sheet.

On cream laid paper with full margins and deckle edge. Faintest suggestion of minor foxing in margins of sheet, otherwise very fine original condition.