Sea Maidens (or, Sunshine; Girls on the Beach)


Arthur B. Davies (1862-1928), Sea Maidens (or, Sunshine; Girls on the Beach), soft ground etching and aquatint, 1919, signed in pencil lower right. Reference: Czestochoski 79, second state (of 3). Total edition unknown but small. In generally good condition apart from a tear (repaired, now unobtrusive, see detail one below) upper center c 1″ into image, soiling verso and in margins, nicks at paper edges.  Printed in black on a green laid paper.  With margins, 8 x 11 7/8, the sheet 9 5/8 x 14 1/2 inches.

A fine impression, with the several aquatint layers contrasting effectively against the greenish paper (see detail number 2 below).

Czestochoski describes the first state as a cut down plate focusing on the group of girls, with some aquatint on the girls, and the second state as the larger plate. This is curious because ordinarily the first state would be the larger plate; the cutting down of the plate would be later (and then this impression would be a first state).

This modernist/symbolist composition is one of Davies’s most popular; he rendered it in a drawing and oil as well.


Detail #1


Detail #2