Moonlight on the Grassy Bank


Arthur B. Davies (1862-1928), Moonlight on the Grassy Bank, soft ground etching and aquatint, drypoint and roulette, 1919, signed in pencil lower right. Reference: Czestochowski 71, fourth state (of 5); total printing unknown but small. In good condition apart from traces of foxing and staining especially toward to the margin edges away from the image, remains of prior hinging verso, with margins, 11 3/4 x 7 3/4, the sheet 14 1/4 x 9 7/8 inches.

A fine impression, with the aquatint layering contrasting vividly. Printed in black ink on a cream laid paper.

Moonlight on the Grassy Bank is a tour-de-force both compositionally and technically. Here Davies has his emblematic nude figures posing, dancing with their hands, in an usual vertical composition. The etching is rich with at least 4 layers of aquatint, from a very light layer on the figures and in the sky to a deep black in the tree. Davies has also added drypoint, with rich burr, as well as dotted lines created by a roulette, between the arms of the figure at the left, and the arm of the right figure and the tree.