Etching with aquatint, in black and gray
Support: White wove paper (Somerset)
Sheet: 38.3 x 32.2 cm (15 1/16 x 12 11/16 in.); Platemark: 25.2 x 20.3 cm (9 15/16 x 8 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1996.226
Since 1954, British figurative painter Frank Auerbach has created about two dozen prints. Like Lucien Freud, Auerbach favors depicting people he knows well because, as he has said: "If one has a chance of seeing people apart from the time when one is painting them, one notices all sorts of things about them. If one sees them in movement, one realizes all sorts of truths about them and one is infinitely less likely to be satisfied with a superficial statement." In 1993 he painted a portrait of his friend, art historian and Canaletto expert, Ruth Bromberg. Executed the following year, this print is loosely based on the painting. He began work on this etching by selecting ideas from several preparatory drawings. While in the presence of the sitter, Auerbach then drew the image on the plate with a dart. Two plates, one in gray and the other in black, were used to print the final work.
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