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James McBey

1883 - 1959

[Young girl at the piano] by James McBey

[Young girl at the piano]   1929

  Woodcut by Y. Urushibara after J. McBey, printed in colours.
Signed in pencil by Y. Urushibara.
S 297 x 427 mm; I 272 x 393 mm
Superb signed proof impression with the impressed patterns of the artist’s cut having created an exceptional three-dimensional effect to the image. A particularly fine example with fresh colour, numbered from the only edition of approximately 50 signed and numbered proofs.

Based upon a watercolour drawing by the Scottish printmaker James McBey, this extraordinary feat of colour woodblock printing shows the remarkable effects which Urushibara could achieve through his exceptional skills as a colour printmaker. In this image Urushibara has succeeded in realising the effects of semi-transparent watercolour washes using multiple woodblock overprintings in the traditional Japanese manner. The result is a truly remarkable accomplishment for a multiple colour woodblock print of this nature.

This is the only woodcut by Urushibara after McBey’s work yet to have been traced. At the time that this was made, McBey had taken to painting portraits and interior scenes in watercolours. This particular subject was painted whilst McBey was a guest of Lord Rowallan at Rowallan Castle in Scotland.

On simile Japan paper, with margins, as issued. Very faint and totally unobtrusive suggestion of minor foxing. Mild time tone in outer margins, otherwise very good original condition. (This work is available in its original frame).