Hawaiian Decoration by John Melville Kelly

Hawaiian Decoration by John Melville Kelly

Hawaiian Decoration

John Melville Kelly

Title

Hawaiian Decoration

 
Artist
Year
c. 1937  
Technique
aquatint and etching 
Image Size
14 3/4 x 10 3/4" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
annotated "No 9" (total edition not stated) 
Annotations
pencil titled, signed and editioned "No 9". 
Reference
Illustrated in "Etchings and Drawings of Hawaiians by John Kelly", 1943, full page; also illustrated in the color version in the book, "John Melville Kelly: Hawaiian Idyll" on page 86. 
Paper
heavy antique-white wove 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
22656 
Price
$5,000.00 
Description

"Hawaiian Decoration" is another of Kelly's best known images, which he printed both in black and white and another edition in color. This black and white version is illustrated full page in Kelly's book "Etchings and Drawings of Hawaiians by John Kelly", 1943. The artist comments about this work:

"This subject was produced by the aquatint method. Fine grains of rosin were dusted onto a clean warm copper plate on which an outline of the subject had been previously bitten in nitric acid. The length of time in which the plate is allowed to remain in the acid determines the depth of the printing surface as also (sic) the various tones in the subsequent proofs."

The color version is discussed in "John Melville Kelly - Hawaiian Idyll", page 87:

"...By shading all parts of the composition, including the model's figure, face, hair and pareu; the variegated pattern of the croton; even the background devoid of space, Kelly worked out the tonal balance of the print and established some boundaries for varying passages of aquatint."