The New Baby
Elyse Ashe Lord (1900-1971), The New Baby, c. 1930, color etching, drypoint; signed lower right in ink. In very good condition, 10 3/4 x 8 3/4, the sheet 11 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches.
A fine impression, with strong color and plate tone. Printed on a light laid ivory Japan paper.
The New Baby is something of a departure from Lord’s usual detailed and realistic renderings of Asian subjects. Here, the shapes are outlined in a nearly abstract idiom, and with only a few lines and colors Lord achieves a masterful composition, at once touching and aesthetically accomplished.
Elyse Ashe Lord developed her unique artistic style exclusively around oriental subject matter. Her art was inspired by both Chinese art and various aspects of oriental culture. Although E.A.Lord never actually travelled to China, she used Chinese paintings, embroideries and wall hangings, together with objects from surrounding Eastern countries, as the sources for her images. The highly individual style which Elyse Lord created reflects both this source material and the influences of Art Deco and early 1920’s fashion.
In particular, Elyse Lord is unusual in combining the technique of drypoint with woodcut colour printing. She uses the drypoint design almost as the Japanese would have used a key block in multiple block colour printing. The colours would then be added by over-printing the drypoint design using colour-inked wood blocks, precisely as displayed by this unique series of progressive proofs. Elyse Lord would always supervise the difficult process of printing her plates and blocks, in person. [I am indebted to Michael Campbell, of Campbell Fine Art, for these biographical notes on Lord.]