The First Church Burial Ground

Rudolph Ruzicka (1883-1978), The First Church Burial Ground1916, Color Wood Engraving.

Edition not stated. Signed in pencil. With the artist’s monogram and date in the block, lower right.

Image size 7 9/16 x 5 5/16 inches (192 x 135 mm); sheet size 11 7/8 x 8 7/8 inches (302 x 225 mm).

A fine impression, with fresh colors, on cream laid paper; full margins (1 1/4 to 2 3/4 inches), in excellent condition.

Ruzicka’s color wood engravings are rarely encountered in today’s marketplace, but are highly valued by¬†collectors, both because of the subtlety of their design and composition, and Ruzicka’s technical mastery of the medium.

Rudolph Ruzicka was an eminent wood engraver, etcher, illustrator, book designer and inventor of typographic fonts. He came to the US from Bohemia, living first in Chicago where he took drawing lessons at Hull House and later becoming an apprentice wood engraver. From 1900 to 1902 he studied at the Chicago art institute, and in 1903 moved to New York where he worked as an engraver and furthered his artistic studies. He went on to achieve fame as a book illustrator, artist and typographer. As a wood engraver he surely was influenced by the 19th Century French master August Lepere, and in turn Ruzicka influenced generations of American artists and illustrators who worked in the difficult and exacting field of wood engraving.