A Fallow Field by James David Smillie

A Fallow Field by James David Smillie

A Fallow Field

James David Smillie

Title

A Fallow Field

 
Artist
Year
1883  
Technique
etching 
Image Size
6 1/8 x 12" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right, in plate lower left 
Edition Size
not stated 
Annotations
pencil annotated "J.D.S. imp."; etched in plate: "A fallow field / Etched from Nature - Montrose Penna / Oct 9th '83- 
Reference
JDS34; W34; LC7 
Paper
antique laid paper 
State
proof 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
BC127 
Price
$700.00 
Description

By the late 19th century photography had replaced the need to reproduce other works by etching and woodengraving. This freed Smillie to be able to experiment more with his own, original compositions, such as 'Fallow Field'. This image is one of the first plates Smillie did that did not fill the whole plate and may reflect the influence of Whistler in the looseness of the line and open areas within the composition.

According to the Brucia Witthoft raisonne notes that Smillie bit the plate for 'Fallow Field' in Montrose on Cotober 11, 1883 using the 'progressive technique, in which additional lines are added to the plate while it is in the acid. The first lines drawin will be most deeply bitten and the last will remain shallow,"I etch upon them while in the bath and otherwise elaborate them." The technique is described by JDS in his introduction to the New York Etching Club catalog ofr 1893, pages xix-xx.

Smillie began an oil painting of this subject in March of 1884 and is an example of an etching being the source for a painting, unlike the earlier work.