Clare Leighton

British, b.1898, d.1989


  • 1931
  • Wood engraving
  • Presented by Rex Nan Kivell, 1953
  • 275 x 395mm
  • 94/67

Much of Clare Leighton’s work as a wood engraver focused on rural labourers going about their lives in the countryside. These works were used extensively as illustrations in her popular books on country life during the 1930s, including The Farmers Year (1933), Four Hedges: A Gardener’s Chronicle (1935) and Country Matters (1937). The skill of Leighton’s wood engraving is evident in this work, where her exquisite and delicately cut lines create incredibly soft tonal variations. The subject is drawn from her time spent in a lumber camp on Canada’s Quebec-Ontario border. One of the most important manuals on wood engraving remains Leighton’s 'Wood-engraving and Woodcuts' from 1938.

The Golden Age 18 December 2015 – 1 May 2016

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • In February 1931 Clare Leighton spent some time in a lumber camp near Gracefield, Quebec. Here she drew and photographed the lumberjacks at work and, as here, at rest. She identified the series of wood-engravings depicting this experience as one that showed a 'sudden development' in her work.

    (Clare Leighton: the growth and shaping of an artist-writer, p. 25)