Cabinet 06

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Roger Lacourière was an accomplished taille doucier (engraver), who taught the likes of Picasso, Matisse and Dali. Of Lacourière JBW wrote: 'there is nothing he likes better than to initiate a young artist, or an older one for that matter, into the secrets of the profession. A quick masterly demonstration will save the artist weeks of fumbling experiment…'. From him, JBW learnt how to engrave on copper, other intaglio and etching techniques, including the skill of creating a background tone by hand-wiping the ink over the unworked portions of the plate. Here is JBW's article on Lacourière, including thoughts on the virtues of publishing éditions de luxe using component artists.

John Buckland Wright 'Roger Lacourière and Modern French Engraving', Signature, Vol. 6 New Series, 1948. Journal Z 119 S53.


After reading D.H. Lawrence's Apocalypse, JBW began a suite of woodcuts to accompany an edition of The Apocalypse of St. John the Divine. Proposed by Stols and his Halcyon Press, this work was never published due mainly to the financial downturn following the stock crash of 1929-30. Only four engravings were completed, of which this is number III. It certainly reflects JBW's superb skill as an artist.

Plate III, The Apocalypse of St. John the Divine, 1931. Private Collection.

Stanley William Hayter, an ex-chemist and self-taught artist, founded Atelier 17 in Paris in 1927. Atelier 17, named after the 1933 premises of 17 rue Campagne-Première, is rightly considered the cradle of innovative print-making techniques and of the communal approach to printmaking. JBW entered the Atelier in 1934 and was enthused by the creativity it generated. He also met there artists such as Picasso, Joseph Hecht, Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy and André Masson. In 1936, JBW became a director of the Atelier. In About Prints, Hayter remarked that JBW 'was responsible for many of the technical innovations which have since been widely disseminated in most countries.'

S. W. Hayter, About Prints. London: Oxford University Press, 1962. Brasch NE 850 HD55.

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University of Otago Master of the Burin: The Book Illustrations of John Buckland Wright, 1897 - 1954 <