A Gateway, Roquebrune by James David Smillie

A Gateway, Roquebrune by James David Smillie

A Gateway, Roquebrune

James David Smillie

Title

A Gateway, Roquebrune

 
Artist
Year
1894  
Technique
drypoint using a celluloid plate 
Image Size
4 x 5 7/8" platemark 
Signature
signed, lower right, within image; titled "Roquebrune" and initialed in plate, left image 
Edition Size
never editioned, proofs only 
Annotations
J.D.S. imp, ll; 1894, lr; Drypoint-celluloid plate-London, ll 
Reference
W74, i.i 
Paper
fine antique-white wove 
State
proof 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
BC187 
Price
$550.00 
Description

After achieving some financial success Smillie had been able to do some creative works toward the end of his life and, in 1894, he began teaching printmaking at the National Academy in New York. In 1894 he began experimenting with different intaglio techniques, such as this drypoint, which he did using a celluloid plate. His first effort, in 1893, had not been successful.

Nitrocellulose-based plastics had been discovered in 1848 and the name "celluloid" was finally registered in 1870. Printmakers began using celluoid plates in the 1870s though it became more useful in photography and, of course as "Bakelite". Brucia Witthoft, in her raisonné "The Fine Arts Etchings of James David Smillie 1833-1909", notes on page 212: "'Roquebrune...' is based on Smillie's travels of 1892-93. He spent a day ar Roquebrune in February, 1893, and sketched some 'odd hunched passageways'."

Roquebrune is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France between Monaco and Menton. Smillie printed this impression in London, before returning to the U.S.