Wadsworth, Edward (1889-1949), 'Ladle Slag, Old Hill, 2', Lithograph, 1919

'Ladle Slag, Old Hill, 2', Lithograph, 1919

Signed and dated by the artist in pencil. From the edition of 40. Printed on Japan paper.

Wadsworth made just six lithographs during his career, his first two being this pair depicting Ladle Slag, Old Hill, published in 1919. The images were drawn by Wadsworth in pen onto special lithographic transfer paper, then the drawings were handed over to specialists for transfer to the lithographic stones and printing. Both prints are related to drawings illustrated in ‘The Black Country’ (1920), plates II and IX.

The Black Country gained its name from the proliferation of iron forges, coal mines and steel mills that populated the area in the 19th century. Whilst travelling between Liverpool and London in 1918, Wadsworth became so arrested by the scenery that he returned on foot in 1919.He began studying and sketching the landscape, eventually developing these works into highly finished compositions that he exhibited at an exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in 1920. The exhibition was met with great acclaim.

The Observer critic, P. G. Konody, described how Wadsworth had bought Vorticism into representational art:
‘A severe sense of form and rhythm, a logic of organisation, that are not found in the work of artists depending entirely on visual impression. These qualities enable him to distil art of the highest order out of material that to the ordinary painter would be not only unpromising but positively forbidding’.

Image Size 36.7 x 49 cm
Paper Size 41 x 52.5 cm
Collection Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Reference Greenwood W/C 5

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