John William North

Vision of a City Tree, engraved by the Dalziel Brothers

published 1867

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
John William North 1841–1924
Medium
Wood engraving on paper
Dimensions
Image: 162 x 127 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Gilbert Dalziel 1924
Reference
N04022

Display caption

North specialised in landscape illustrations, as this design for Robert Buchanans’s Wayside Posies demonstrates. The image is dominated by a large tree which rises above the steep valley. A young boy on horseback rides down the hill, glancing over his shoulder at a shepherd who is trying to keep his flock together.

The poem is narrated by a city tree, which reminisces about country life:

The city roars around my feet
In squares, and lanes, and alleys,
On every side my trunk – a street –
So different from the valleys

Gallery label, July 2008

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