Osaka: The Venice of Japan by Mortimer Luddington Menpes

Osaka: The Venice of Japan by Mortimer Luddington Menpes

Osaka: The Venice of Japan

Mortimer Luddington Menpes

Title

Osaka: The Venice of Japan

 
Artist
Year
1905  
Technique
etching 
Image Size
7 15/16 x 7 15/16" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
not stated 
Annotations
"imp", titled in pencil, lower margin 
Reference
Atlas catalogue 81; Dowdeswell's #41 
Paper
antique-white laid 
State
proof 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
20097 
Price
$750.00 
Description

Australian born Mortimer Luddington Menpes studied with James A.M. Whistler in 1880-81 and assisted Whistler with printing his etchings. In 1887 Menpes left Europe for Japan where he traveled through 1888.

In this "Whistlerian" etching Menpes compares the bridges and canals of Osaka to the beauty and importance of Venice, Italy, a city where Whistler did many of his finest etching.

"Osaka: The Venice of Japan" is an etching, with added drypoint, done in 1905, seventeen years after his Japanese trip. Like his mentor Menpes believed that artists should do their own printing and, also like Whistler, he sought out a variety of antique papers, often book end-papers, often preferring old papers that had some degree of aging, feeling they were softer and held the ink better than new sheets. This impression is printed on an antique paper.

Michael L. Galfer in the Atlas Galleries catalogue on Menpes' prints notes on page 9:

"Edition sizes are seldom recorded and vary with subject and technique...some of his earlier drypoint portraits are numbered from editions of 25, and the later Venetian views are from editions of 70. It is also thought that many of his prints were not printed to a compete edition, the number of impressions pulled being determined by the wear of the plate and the demand for the works."