Monday, 17 June 2013
Sylvan Boxsius 'Afterglow'
For all fans of the British artist, SG Boxsius, an image of his 1933 linocut Afterglow has turned up. It's a fine image, seeing him depicting elm trees with considerable verve. He was getting into his 'less is more' phase by that time, and I like the way he has piled up various shapes behind the farm building. We are used to his single figure masterstrokes by now. The image would be less interesting without the attentive cow. It's remarkable what he achieves with his careful build-up of shapes and tones, and this print shows him very much in William Giles mode, with its depiction of an exact time of day and its mood as a metaphor. It' s always interesting to wonder about the other artists an artist had been looking at. Irresistibly, the miniature scale suggests John Sell Cotman. It's outwardly simple enough, but the complex feelings of a man in his mid-fifties do come through as a result. (He died only eight years after he had made this print).
Unfortunately, I like the condition less. It is quite badly faded all over and I suspect the colours you have here are less vivid than they should be. But this is the first time I've seen this print, so I can't be sure about that. Even so, £175 is quite a hefty price to ask for something in a lot less than perfect condition. As we all know by now, Boxsius isn't a rare artist. His work turns up even more frequently than, say, Seaby, Royds or Platt, simply because he was rated at the time and his work obviously sold. You will find this on British ebay and will see what happens.