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Augustus Edwin John

1879 – 1961

Esther by Augustus Edwin John

Esther   1903

  Original etching with drypoint.
Signed in pencil.
Ref: Campbell Dodgson 42 iv/iv
S 285 x 227 mm; P & I 177 x 140 mm.
Original Augustus John etching with drypoint.

Superb impression printed with considerable plate tone, the burr of the drypoint added in this state printing rich and fresh. Signed in pencil by the artist with his full signature and numbered in the lower margin by Knewstub. As issued in the only edition of 25 signed and numbered proofs, published by the Chenil Gallery in 1906.

The famously brilliant and notorious bohemian artist, Augustus John, was one of the most individual original etchers of the early 20th century. His early portraits, such as this striking depiction of Esther, are widely considered to be his finest works in the medium.

Augustus John had sent an oil portrait of Signorina Estella Cerutti, whom he called Esther, to the winter exhibition of the New English Art Club in 1902, along with an oil portrait of his wife. Attracted to the splendidly buxom Estella, the artist made many drawings of her in the spring and summer of 1903, including the present etching.

On cream laid paper with full margins and deckle edge. Mild time tone to sheet, otherwise very fine original condition.