William Lee Hankey (1869–1952) was a British painter, printmaker and book illustrator. He specialised in landscapes, character studies and portraits of pastoral life, particularly in studies of mothers with young children.
He was born in Chester and worked as a designer after leaving school. He studied art in the evenings at the Chester School of Art, then at the Royal College of Art.
Later in Paris he became influenced by the work of Jules Bastien-Lepage, who also favoured rustic scenes depicted in a realistic but sentimental style.
He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1896 and was President of the London Sketch Club from 1902 to 1904.
He lived in France for a time and produced a body of work of French villages and Breton peasants. He taught etching at London Goldsmith's College and exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy.
His figure study etchings show great technical virtuosity
This is a fabulous etching and drypoint print by Hankey. It shows a woman holding her little child on her knee. It is certainly a most sentimental image. It is typical of Hankey's style, full of atmosphere and intricate detail. The lady looks like a Breton peasant - and the subject and style is certainly reminiscent of rustic images by Bastien-Lepage.
It is signed in the plate with the artist's monogram, lower right, and also signed in pencil below the image, and with the embossed artist's blindstamp.
It is undated but probably dates to the late 1920s / early 1930s.
This is a fine impression and is being sold unframed.
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