Tuesday, 10 May 2016

William Neave Parker: 'March' and other prints on ebay


There continues to be something of a trove of prints by the British artist and illustrator, William Neave Parker, on ebay, and for those who missed the opportunity the first time round, you can have another go at prints like his fetching Bear and his surprising period-piece, March. Who would have thought he could have stretched to satyrs and nudes? And what was he doing calling his print March? It's all rather unlikely and I begin to wonder if there isn't something I have missed about Neave Parker (and, goodness knows, I searched and searched).

Going by the last round of bidding, there were other people taken with this print. What kind of print it is, I wouldn't like to say. It is described as a linocut (and Neave Parker certainly made some in colour) but the style looks far more like wood-engraving. But I kind of doubt it is either. Does this matter? Hardly. Even with the obvious condition of the prints, these would be nice to have. A mite conventional, yes, but also perhaps deceptive. Parker was never serious about prints. I think they were something of a sideline. He was certainly more Hall Thorpe than Bresslern Roth and once you see his original work in front of you, it is disappointing. The effect is too flat and unexciting, there is none of the thrill of a finely-made print. All the same they are both well-drawn and sufficiently individual and quirky to be tempting. Once bitten, though, twice shy.


  1. Short, sweet and to the point Charles. Parker is largely relegated to the ranks of mediocrity because as you rightly point out...his work is flat and lacks depth and movement. I am stunned to see the nude and satyr...it's so raunchy for him. It's certainly no sun bear lolling about is it? I enjoy your pith and vinegar, and your observations are always spot on. Thank you. Clive

  2. Oh, dear, mediocrity, yes, a journeyman illustrator, and yet, with training, perhaps... I dunno. We need more to go on. Well, certainly after seeing the haunches on that satyr we do.

  3. I think people should not be so dismissive of his work. "Flat colour" has its interest too...it has a particular Art Deco style to it. I think you should see the example I possess of one of his naked female studies - you might see him in a different light!

  4. This was a post based around prints that had come up on ebay and was knocked off fairly rapidly as a result. His work in black and white is better than the colour linocuts and some of his book illustrations of animals are very good and (and not flat at all). I think it's unfortunate that some collectors still associate him with the colour prints simply because before the internet came along that was all we used to see. He needs another exhibition of the kind the Ulster Museum put on in the eighties (I think).

    I got the idea from the print I posted here I might have missed something but would like to see the image you own if you could find your way to sending me a scan or photo. It's cgc@waitrose.com. He has had a fair write-up in my book and anything else I could learn about him could go in. The more you find out, the more your views change, often for the better, though admittedly not always.

    Anyway, your comments are much appreciated and add to the discussion.