Sunday, 14 August 2011
The Vale of Pewsey by Edward Loxton Knight
I thought this was a rare enough colour woodcut by the British artist Edward Loxton Knight to be worth a quick post. It's just come up for sale on British ebay from Jubilee Galleries at the kind of 'Buy it now' price it might go for at auction in Nottingham without exactly being his most stylish work. He adopted a pretty Arnesby-Brownish manner later on and I don't think The Vale of Pewsey is as period as some of the work on my Loxton Knight post (September, 2011). In its favour, it's subtle and ambitious. It's the first out of an edition of 35, I think, still in the original frame and mount, so it is hard to say what the actual condition is - and at that kind of price, it matters. If his earlier work tends to look like colour-by-numbers, then this one is too much like a conventional landscape painting to be that interesting as a print. He just can't win, can he?
Here is a replacement image that I've found with help (see comments) which may show altered colours, I'll put it like that. It will come from a photograph from a catalogue because that's where all these art sites find their images - that or on ebay. I had this one down as The Trent Valley, which is probably wrong as the Trent valley isn't so heavily wooded. You have to ask yourself if this is just another version or is it just that the top print has faded. I tend to think Loxton Knight was correcting a misjudgement by darkening the foreground in the lower print because the blue of the valley in the upper print is too pronounced and makes it float upwards. Darkening the clouds had the same effect. I think the improvements work and that number two is the better print. It goes to show what care Loxton Knight took with his woodcuts.