David Michael Jones

British, b.1895, d.1974

Stag

  • Presented Rex Nan Kivell, 1953
  • Reproduced with permission
  • Wood engraving
  • 285 x 197mm
  • 94/118
  • 1930

One of the striking things about all the artists in The Golden Age is their perfectionism, a necessary quality considering the medium they were working with – engraving the woodblock requires the utmost care and control as a mistake is very difficult to rectify. The quality of printing was also of concern, especially if the artist wasn’t printing the block themselves. The extremely fine detailed lines of the engraved block are notoriously difficult to ink and print: too much ink and the detail is lost, too little and the impression is not crisp enough. David Jones commented:

I think in the case of my work, it is particularly difficult because [the blocks] do depend to some large extent on really ‘sympathetic’ printing, they are very easily killed. I do ‘not’ think this is a virtue in them, far from it, perhaps, but it is a fact. The idea ‘only’ just gets across in any case & mechanical process simply dishes ‘em.

The Golden Age 18 December 2015 – 1 May 2016