Jun 24, 2008

Front of the New Mills

Front of the New Mills


John Crome

(British, 1768–1821)


Sheet: 38.5 x 55.7 cm (15 3/16 x 21 15/16 in.); Platemark: 22.5 x 30.2 cm (8 7/8 x 11 7/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1996.227

Catalogue raisonné: Theobald 5

State: II/III



Crome's work epitomizes the essence of British landscape art at the beginning of the 19th century, the moment of its greatest flowering. Rooted in an almost mystical commmunion with nature, the artist's purpose was to express the true naturalism of landscape, a realism of light, air, and weather not seen before. He became interested in etching because he understood its potential for spontaneity, yet he feared his etchings would not be admired because they were, by conventional standards, unfinished and sketchy. In fact, it is precisely the freedom of line, lack of rigidity, and open silvery quality of light that makes them so special and individual. Rather than using prints to just copy his paintings, Crome approached etching as a creative medium with which to capture the special beauty of his native Norwich countryside. It is in early impressions like this one, printed by Crome in small numbers, and now extremely rare, that the delicacy of his technique can be appreciated.

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 

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