This is an extremely fine and rare etching by the celebrated Scottish artist, William Wilson (1905 - 1972).
This fine early etching has a low edition number from a small issue of only 30 impressions.
It is numbered by the artist as being 8 / 30 and as such is a beautiful velvety impression with much sooty burr in the drypoint areas and rich dark tones.
It is a much sought-after work of the Etching Revival. In the late 19th century / early 20th century printmaking in Britain began to be considered more of a fine art - rather than a purely illustrative medium. In Scotland, DY Cameron, James McBey and Muirhead Bone were at the forefront of the printmaking revival and started a mania for people collecting etchings as quality works of art. Printmaking in Scotland flourished.
Willie Wilson was born in Edinburgh in 1905 and first served an apprenticeship in the art of stained glass - his stained glass works are just as amazing as his fine etchings. In 1937 he opened his own stained glass studio, but throughout his life, he worked in three different mediums - etching, watercolour painting and stained glass - excelling at each.
From the mid-1920s Wilson travelled extensively to the continent. Later trips to Germany in 1928 resulted in these two accomplished works on offer in my Iconic Edinburgh online store. Wilson’s main influence was art from Northern Europe, in particular, the work of Durer and Breughel. Wilson loved to fill his prints with minute detail and often covered his copperplate right up to the margins.
Wilson's work in etching dates between 1925 and late 1940 - and is amongst some of the finest works by any Etching Revival artist. He excels in draughtsmanship (as can be seen in this composition) and his etchings are infused with atmosphere and textures with his fine use of dark tones.
Sadly, Wilson began to lose his sight in the 1950s and his work in watercolour and etching came to an abrupt end.
This amazing etching by Wilson shows in the most carefully observed detail the walled city of Rothenburg - this one is entitled The Walls, Rothenburg and dates to 1929. This print shows Wilson’s interest in the structural qualities of an image and his relish in depicting all the intricate ever-changing angles of roofs and walls in a jam-packed walled city (perhaps inspired by his home town of Edinburgh with its higgle-piggle rooftops in the Old Town). On this one, I love his inclusion of teeny-weeny people getting about their daily tasks in the cityscape.
I have another etching 1929 pendant view of Rothenburg in my Iconic Edinburgh online Store.
This is a genuine early work as issued by Wilson in the 1920s - it is pencil-signed, edition numbered and titled in the margins below the image.
The image measures: 21.5 x 20.5 cm. Frame size is 40 x 39 cm
It is in excellent condition - with no issues, The etching has a new fresh mount and simple black frame - and is all ready for you to just hang on your wall.
This print is of museum quality - and an impression is in the collection of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.