Catalogue entry

Graham Sutherland OM 1903-1980

P02068 Clegyr Boia 1938

Inscribed ‘Herons’ b.l.
Etching and aquatint, 7¾ x 5¿ (19.7 x 15) on paper 9¿ x 7¼ (24.5 x 18.5). Presented by the artist 1970.
Lit: Douglas Cooper, The Work of Graham Sutherland, 1961, p. 69, repr. pl.4a as ‘Welsh Landscape’ and incorrectly dated 1936; Felix H. Man, Graham Sutherland: das graphische Werk 1922–1970, 1970, No. 37, repr. as ‘Clegyr-Boia, a landscape in Wales’.

This etching was the frontispiece to Signature, No.9, published in March 1938. Signature was a magazine devoted to typography and the graphic arts, edited by Oliver Simon and published by the Curwen Press; an article by Sutherland on ‘A Trend in English Draughtsmanship’ appeared in the third issue in July 1936.

According to Felix Man, there was only a single state of this etching, which was printed in an edition of about 1000, plus a few artist’s proofs; the plate was subsequently destroyed. The subject reflects Sutherland’s new interest in the landscape of Wales. Both subject and treatment are similar to some of his watercolours and oils of the same period, such as ‘Black Landscape’ 1937 (Cooper, pl. IOC) or ‘sun setting between Hills’ 1938 (Cooper, pl. 14a). Sutherland writes (letter of 18 August 1972) that ‘the word “Herons” half obliterated at the bottom centre was intended to be the title “Herons Ghyl” which I later abandoned’.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1970–1972, London 1972.