Lucien Pissarro



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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Lucien Pissarro 1863–1944
Wood engraving on paper
Image: 79 × 76 mm
Purchased 1924

Catalogue entry

PISSARRO, Lucien 1863-1944
Landscape: Blackpool, Devon 1914
Wood-engraving 79 x 76 (3 1/8 x 3) on wove paper approximately 191 x 168 (7 9/16 x 6 5/8) engraved by Lucien Pissarro and published in an edition of 20
Printed monogram ‘LP’ bottom left; inscribed in pencil ‘5/20 LP [as monogram] del[ineavit], sc[ulpsit], & imp[ressit]’ below image
Purchased (Duveen Drawings and Paintings Fund)1924
Bought from the artist January 1924
Long loan to Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1930s – February 1977 (3855)
The Apple, II, no.1, 1921, p.42

Lucien Pissarro, ‘Catalogue de gravures sur bois’, manuscript studiobook, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford 1905-29, II, no.341
Alan Fern, ‘The Wood Engravings of Lucien Pissarro with Catalogue Raisonné’, unpublished Ph.D thesis, University of Chicago, 1960, no.255
David Chambers, Notes on a Selection of Wood-Blocks Held at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford 1980, p.39 reproduced (as Landscape: Blackpool, Devon, 1914)
Anne Thorold, A Catalogue of the Oil Paintings of Lucien Pissarro, London 1983, reproduced p.252
Janine Bailly-Herzberg, Dictionnaire de L’Estampe en France 1830-1950, Paris 1985, p.262
Lora Urbanelli, The Wood Engravings of Lucien Pissarro & a Bibliographical List of Eragny Books, Cambridge and Oxford 1994, reproduced [p.124]
Lora Urbanelli, The Book Art of Lucien Pissarro with a Bibliographical List of the Books of the Eragny Press 1894-1914, Rhode Island and London 1997, reproduced fig.xxiii, p.54

The subject of this print is Blackpool, a village in Devon in south-west England about three miles south-west from Dartmouth. Lucien painted landscapes there in 1913, 1921 and 1922. Although the adjacent beach of Blackpool Sands is part of some of the most attractive coastline in Britain, he seems to have preferred to paint in the village and Blackpool Vale, close to where he was staying at the Mill. His first soujourn in 1913 lasted from mid-February to July during a period of convalescence from an illness which had affected his lungs. He was joined for a time by his daughter Orovida Pissarro, and a friend, James Brown (1863-1943), a professional musician and able amateur painter who had been introduced to Lucien by the critic Frank Rutter. Brown, Pissarro and James Bolivar Manson later went on a painting holiday in the same year to Rye in Sussex (see Tate, P08204).
The view in the wood-engraving, Landscape: Blackpool, Devon is very similar to the prospect produced by Lucien in an oil painting from this time, Blackpool Valley, 1913 (City of Edinburgh Art Centre).[1] The buildings in the foreground, nestling in the valley amidst the hills and trees, are recognisable by the double gable. The painting was exhibited twice in London in 1913, at the Carfax Galleries in May and during the summer at the New English Art Club. It is not known why Lucien translated the landscape into a wood-engraving but it was subsequently published in 1921 in the periodical, The Apple (of Beauty and Discord), a quarterly arts magazine which ran from 1920-1922. It contained poems, stories, and essays on the arts, as well as reproductions of etchings, woodcuts and unique works by contemporary artists as diverse as Charles Shannon, Wyndham Lewis, Frank Brangwyn, Edward Wadsworth, Laura Knight, Charles Ginner and the Nash brothers. It also reproduced ‘some interesting examples of earlier Epochs and Eastern Art’ and was intended to be ‘looked at, bought, enjoyed and digested by “high and low” without distinction’.[2] Its self-professed aim was:

to entertain its readers with living literature and art collected from many gardens and culled occasionally from the ever living, ever fruitful orchards of the past. It is the hope of the editors that the juxtaposition of harshly opposite types of mind will prove to be a more healthy diet of thought than the peptonised preparations of the daily, weekly and monthly press.[3]

The Apple also offered its readers the opportunity to purchase some of the original works of art reproduced within its pages and Pissarro offered for sale another wood-engraving published in the same volume, Ophelia, priced at £3 3s.[4]

Pissarro originally issued this print in an edition of twenty. It was re-printed by David Chambers and Iain Bain in 1981 as part of the portfolio of wood-engravings from Lucien Pissarro’s original wood blocks (see P08203, Landscape: Blackpool, Devon, 1914).
Nicola Moorby
December 2002

[1] Anne Thorold, A Catalogue of the Oil Paintings of Lucien Pissaro, London 1983, no.161, reproduced.
[2] The Apple, vol.1, no.1, January 1920, p.5.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Lucien Pissarro, ‘Catalogue de gravures sur bois’, manuscript studiobook, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford 1905-29, I, no.104.

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