In our fourth installment in a series of small online exhibitions, the focus is on architecture: the beauty in the construction, aging, and decline of the structures we use in our daily lives, the bridges we travel on, places of worship and the cities that contain them. Architecture and printmaking have been wedded for centuries, illustrating city views and maps, biblical scenes, castles and fortresses, etc. Though most of these were just meant as functional visual records that could be reproduced in volume (before photography), some printmakers were able to use the images more creatively, such as Piranesi’s famous Prisons series. Many printmakers, John Taylor Arms for example, began their careers as architects and specialized in creatively recording structures they felt were worthy.
Though we see architecture nearly every day, we often don’t remark upon it. The artists in this exhibition make a point of finding something worthwhile in these structures, both in the ones built to dazzle and in the ones built only for utility; the structures that still stand and some whose time has come and gone.
In keeping with our goal, we’ve selected a wide sample of styles in order to open up our expansive inventory to the public. There are often more examples of the artist’s works on the website if an image intrigues you.
Under each image we’ve provided a link to the work on our website where prices and more specific information is available. There, we also provide biographies and specific comments regarding the work when available. If you have any questions, please contact us.
25 Architectural Works on Paper
John Taylor Arms (American.: 1887 – 1953): Gloria Ecclesiae Antiquae (a.k.a., “Gloria: Saint Riquier” and “The Church of Saint Riquier”), 1937; etching; 13-7/8 x 8-5/8″ platemark; edition of 175; pencil signed, lower right. Arms’ experience as an architect is apparent in the elegant, intricate rendering of this Gothic structure.
Gustave Baumann (American: 1881 – 1971): Night of the Fiesta Taos, 1924; color woodcut; 6 x 7-5/8″ image size; 89/125; pencil signed, lower right. Though he is often known for his landscapes, Baumann’s love of the Southwest’s native architecture is beautifully rendered in twilight tones in “…Fiesta Taos.”
Frank Brangwyn (British: 1867 – 1958): The Valentre Bridge, Cahors, 1911; zinc plate etching; 21-3/16 x 31-13/16″ platemark; numbered “9” from an edition of 25 proofs from the second state; signed in pencil, lower right. The monumental size and elegance of the bridge is showcased in a scene of daily life as it plays out beneath one if its spans.
Samuel V. Chamberlain (American: 1895 – 1975): Verneuil, 1929; drypoint; 9-1/16 x 6-3/4″ platemark; 61/100; signed in pencil, lower right. As with Arms, Chamberlain was an admirer of Gothic architecture, and strove to capture the complexities of its designs.
Alvan Fisher (American: 1792 – 1863): La Grange (South Western View) – from the suite: “Views of La Grange – The Residence of General Lafayette”, 1826; lithograph; 7-11/16 x 10-7/16″ image; edition not stated; stone signed: A Fisher, pinx. (and) Deroy, del. By the early 19th century, lithography was rare in the United States. This is among one the earliest architectural studies printed and published in America.
E. Hedley Fitton (British: 1857 – 1929): John Knox’s House, 1909; etching with roulette at lower margin; 15-7/8 x 11-11/16″ platemark; not editioned; pencil signed, lower right; signed in plate, lower left; signed in plate in reverse, lower right. The famous house, incorrectly rumored to be the residence of the Protestant reformer, remains the focal point as it glows through the shadows of a foggy Scottish afternoon.
Kevin Fletcher (American: born 1956): Halifax Reconsidered, 2007; monotype; 12 x 13-5/8″ platemark; unique; signed in pencil, lower right. A good example of the haunting beauty found in dilapidation and disrepair, this richly hued print deftly renders of the shadowed interior of a crumbling warehouse.
Nicolai Hammer (Danish: 1887 – 1970): Rosenborg Castle, circa 1920; color aquatint with etching; 16-1/4 x 14-1/2″ platemark; edition not stated’ signed in pencil, lower center. Muted colors against a snowy landscape lend a softness to Hammer’s rendering of the famous Dutch-Renaissance landmark.
Stanley William Hayter (British: 1901 – 1998) Boulevard Pasteur (a.k.a., Coin de Boulevard Pasteur), 1927; drypoint; 10 x 8-1/16″ platemark; 5/20; pencil signed, lower right. Hayter’s early architectural print, a depiction of a French street, embraces the beginnings of Modernism and Hayter’s own bent toward automatic line.
Charles B. Keeler (American: 1880 – 1964): In the Street of Life and Death, Segovia, about 1927; aquatint; 9-7/16 x 12″ platemark; “No. 43” from an unstated edition; pencil signed, lower right. Like its title, this image is a balance of delicately wrought contrasts.
George Mathis (American: 1909 – 1977): Monterey Custom House, circa 1940; lithograph; 11 x 14-1/8″ image; edition not stated, presumed small; pencil signed, lower right. This structure is the oldest Californian historical landmark, built by the Mexican government before the state was a part of the United States.
James A. Merigot (British: 1760 – 1824): Temple of Minerva Medica (from: A Select Collection of Views and Ruins in Rome and Its Vicinity), 1793, published in 1798; aquatint with hand coloring; 10-7/8 x 8-1/8″ platemark; 8-9/16 x 6-1/16″ image size; edition size not stated; publication line beneath title. This nymphaeum is presumed to have been a part of the Horti Liciniani gardens of ancient Rome. Merigot’s romantic depiction greatly contrasts with the dome’s current position alongside the via Labicana.
Henri Meunier (French: 1873 – 1922): Cathedrale de Chartres, circa 1910; color aquatint; 7 x 5-1/2″ platemark; editioned “No 2” (of 35) in pencil; pencil signed, lower right. Meunier deftly translates his admiration of the Japanese woodcut style into color aquatint. In this image, a warm sienna sunset illuminates the cathedral’s spires.
William E.C. Morgan (British: 1903 – 1979) Italian Hill Farm, 1928; drypoint; 6-3/8 x 8-7/16″ platemark; 71/78; pencil signed, lower right. Morgan’s stunning chiaroscuro approach enriches the many textures on the dilapidated stone farmhouse’s facade.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian: 1720 – 1778): Veduta di Campo Vaccino (Plate 82 of “Views of Rome”), 1772; etching; 18-11/16 x 27-3/4″ platemark; edition size not stated; name engraved in text below image. Piranesi’s dramatic, precise etchings of Rome eclipsed those of his predecessors’, including printmaker Giuseppe Vasi, who introduced him to the etching medium.
Max Pollak (American: 1886 – 1970): San Francisco Mission Dolores, 1945; color drypoint, etching & aquatint; 14-3/4 x 13-3/8″ platemark; 60/150; pencil signed, lower right. Pollak captured Mission Dolores in a depiction that he could have created today: Dolores is the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco, its well-preserved facade looking much as it did when it was built in 1776.
Augusta Rathbone (American: 1897 – 1990): St. Dalmas, French Riviera, about 1935; etching & color aquatint; 14-1/2 x 10-5/8’ platemark; AP (ed. ca. 10); pencil signed, lower right. Rathbone compliments the smooth, flat angles of the church with her signature broad bands of color in the landscape and sky.
Tavik Frantisek Simon (Czech: 1877 – 1942): Roman Bridge at Ronda, Spain, 1913; etching; 13-5/16 x 9-7/16″ platemark; 49 from an edition of 150; pencil signed, lower right; initialed within plate, center left; red initial seal, lower left. The towering face of this 18th century bridge glows from between echoing, shadowed limestone.
James David Smillie (American: 1833 – 1942): San Luis Rey Mission, Cal., 1891-92; softground etching & aquatint, printed chine collé; 15-3/4 x 8″ platemark; proof; pencil signed, lower right. This dramatic image shows the partial ruins of the mission, which has since been mostly renovated, and is still in use today.
Hermann Struck (German: 1876 – 1944): New York Skyscrapers (Manhattan from Brooklyn), 1920; drypoint and etching in a brown/black ink; 9-3/4 x 11-3/4″ platemark; 65/150; pencil signed, lower left. This image preserves a Manhattan skyline of another era, almost unrecognizable today.
Roger Vieillard (French: 1907 – 1989): Architecture II (Tour de Babel), 1936; engraving; 14-7/8 x 10-5/8″ platemark; proof, outside the numbered edition of 40; pencil signed, lower left. Vieillard’s fantastic, surreal architectural imagery was inspired by a walk beneath the Eiffel Tower.
Richard Wagener (American: born 1944): Pantages, 2005; woodengraving; 5 x 3″ image size; 4/18; pencil signed, lower right. One of Los Angeles’s oldest and most famed theaters, the Pantages retains its original Art Deco facade.
Grant Wood (American: 1891 – 1942): Fertility, 1931; color woodcut; 9-11/16 x 14-13/16″ image; pencil signed, lower right; brush signed, lower left ; ji-zuri, left margin. A farmhouse, silo, barn, and a growing corn crop: signs of affluence in an otherwise dreary economic time. The hopeful title of this lithograph further beautifies the stark lines of these midwestern structures.
Hiroshi Yoshida (Japanese: 1876 – 1950): Golden Pagoda in Rangoon, from the “India and the Southwest Series”, 1931; color woodcut; 9-11/16 x 14-13/16″ image; pencil signed, lower right; brush signed, lower left ; ji-zuri, left margin. Yoshida’s breathtaking image of the Shwedagon Pagoda reflected in Lake Yangoon combines his training in Western oil painting and Japanese shin hanga printmaking.
Angel Zamarripa-Landi (Mexican: 1912 – 1990): La Fuente, circa 1935; soft ground etching; 11-1/2 x 8-3/4” platemark; 9/20; signed in pencil, lower right. This building, like many older structures in Mexico City, had to be reinforced to keep it from collapsing under its own weight into the basin on which the city was built. This fountain, built in honor of the first bishop of Mexico, Juan de Zamarraga, is found on the northeast side of the cathedral.
This concludes Part IV of our Treasure Hunt.