Barges, (BPL 6)
Unmounted (ref: 5714)
Signed titled and printed by artist's nephew from the original block
5 1/8 x 6 1/4 in. (14 x 15.5 cm)
Tags: Clare Leighton engraving print maritime men work
Provenance: The Artist's Estate; Private collection
Barges dates to 1924 and is amongst Leighton's earliest work. Writing of this print later in life Leighton commented: They were days of interpreting the world around me. For the time being, economically secure with my earnings from teaching (at the RCA), I had not taken advantage of the accolade of the Eric Gill purchase (see The Malthouse). In one was I was wondering free. So I engraved early prints such as The Calf Auction, Barges and other scenes around me in the little market town of Bishops Startford for my own pleasure.
There were not very subtle prints. I know that well. I was not yet abole to realise the potential of this new medium. More concerned with putting down on the wood the excitement of a design. I did not trouble to think that I was choosing the easiest path. I know now how overly black the prints were, and understood Belloc's reproach of 'the exaggeration of black'. But i had to live through this uncertain phas. And I have now come to realise that the most important element for the beginner that I most certainly was, must be the creative impulse that chronicles the emotion rather than the technical perfection, (see Clare Leighton, The Growth and Shaping of An Artist-Writer, p. 9, Published by The Estate of Clare Leighton).
Barges was later published by Longmans, Green & Co. in 1930 as Plate III of Woodcuts: Examples of the Work of Clare Leighton.