Mary Fedden
The Etching Table 1971

Artwork details

Mary Fedden 1915–2012
The Etching Table
Date 1971
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 762 x 917 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1991
Not on display


Fedden's oil painting The Etching Table celebrates the making of her first lithographs in 1971. Painting directly from the motif, she added certain imaginative details, flattening the forms and placing them separately across the picture plane. Mel Gooding described such work as 'that play of imaginative delight and the expression of affection' that Fedden desires in her painting (Gooding, p.36). The artist acknowledges that she appropriates freely from other artists - she particularly admires Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood - and adapts their characteristics to her own style. Unconcerned with the radical exploration of the language of painting in relation to matters of perception or expression, she is primarily interested in the shape, colour, and variety of natural and everyday things.

Further reading:
Mel Gooding, Mary Fedden, Aldershot, Hants 1995, reproduced p.91 in colour

Terry Riggs
November 1997