Original H.A. Freeth etching.
Very fine proof impression with selectively wiped plate tone. Scarce. From the quality of the impression and the unusually pronounced platemark, it appears likely that this is a trial proof impression printed just prior to the issued edition in 1934.
The marvellous portrait etchings of H.A. Freeth rank amongst the finest printed portraits of the period. Unlike his elaborate figure compositions, which were based upon numerous preparatory drawings, Freeth’s single portraits such as George were invariably etched directly onto the plate. The spontaneity which this direct approach produced is immediately apparent, and seems to have enabled Freeth to convey perfectly his penetrating insight into the character of his sitter.
Hubert Andrew Freeth was a close friend and exact contemporary of fellow etcher R.T. Cowern and George, depicted here, was an employee of R.T. Cowern’s father. Whilst sitting for this etched portrait by Freeth, George was portrayed simultaneously by R.T. Cowern who etched a side view of him. Etched in 1934, this portrait was to become H.A. Freeth’s first exhibit at the Royal Academy the following year. Both Freeth and Cowern went on to win the Rome Scholarship for Engraving; however, H.A. Freeth’s award was based upon his brilliant work as a portrait etcher, whilst Cowern’s was for his etched landscapes.
On cream laid paper with full margins. Very fine original condition.