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Sir D. Y. Cameron

Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00

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Sir D. Y. Cameron - Rowallan's Towers - 1893
Etching printed on Japan paper - paper 23.9 x 20.2 cm / image 18.3 x 16.6 cm
Very good condition
Framed - Price £545 

Sir D.Y.CAMERON (David Young) is regarded as one of the great British etchers of landscape and architectural scenes and as a leading light in the British etching revival in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Glasgow in 1865 he trained at Glasgow School of Art before attending Edinburgh College of Art in 1885. In 1887, George Stevenson, a friend of Seymour Hayden (another well-renowned etcher) suggested that Cameron try his hand at etching. In 1889 Cameron was elected an associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers where he exhibited regularly until 1902. He won numerous awards and accumulated honours, becoming Royal Academician in 1920. He was knighted in 1924 and was appointed King’s Painter and Limner in Scotland in 1993. He died in Perth in 1945.

 The two prints presented here come from two periods of Cameron’s etching career. Rowallan’s Towers (1893) is a relatively early print, on an architectural theme that is treated in a manner in the spirit of Sir Walter Scott. Cameron’s prints of this period feature areas of great darkness offset by highlights. There is a strong Romantic aspect too to this image. By contrast Drimmin (1932) is a drypoint print that typifies his late landscape style. The feathery lightness in the handling of this very evocative Scottish landscape scene, executed with a minimal amount of drawing, and the strong contrasting features, creates great atmosphere.

 Although Cameron made views based on his trips abroad (including to France, Holland and Italy), it is his Scottish subjects that are most striking. He captures the true essence of the Scottish landscape, a feat first attempted in the etchings of John Clerk of Eldin. Cameron’s prints have been much sought after by collectors and it is not hard to understand why.


Further information:

Rowallan's Towers is extremely rare. Cameron's etching cataloguer Frank Rinder cites this etching as existing in only ‘very few impressions’ and impressions are now exceptionally scarce.

Superb trial proof impression, printed in dark brown ink with considerable plate tone. This outstanding early trial proof has been printed using great pressure on the printing press, in order to show the artist every detail in the progress of the etched work, created slight creases in the paper. At this stage the etching appears just completed and has printed with unusual strength and clarity.

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