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Tuesday 24 November 2020

George Woolliscroft Rhead‘s etching, “Magnolia Grandiflora”, 1885

George Woolliscroft Rhead (1855-1920)

Magnolia Grandiflora”, 1885, published in 1886 in New York by Dodd, Mead, and Co., as an original etching in George W. H Ritchie and Roger Riordan’s “Ten etchings: Examples of the etched work of Masse, Casanova, Rhead, Gravesend [sic], Jacomb-Hood, Ballin, L'hermitte, Jacquemart, Steele, Veyrassat.”

Following in the spirit of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with whom the artist is closely associated—mindful that Rhead is included in Percy Bate's (1890) "English Pre-Raphaelite Painters"—the portrayed lady in this very beautiful etching is not only a metaphorical personification of the majestic flower of the print’s title, but her long tresses and even the colour of the etching ink seem (at least to my eyes) to embody the curling locks of loose red hair that the Pre-Raphaelites have become identified.

Regarding this print, Ritchie & Riordan (1886) offer the following insights:

“The artist has found a superb living incarnation of the splendid flower of the South in the grand beauty whom he presents to us embowered in the floral splendor she is made to typify. Her loveliness has the abundant and expansive character of the great blossom she is wreathed and crowned with.” ([n.p.] descriptive text for “Magnolia Grandiflora”).

Etching (and drypoint?) with plate tone printed in brown ink on cream laid paper with full margins as published.

Size: (sheet) 42.5 x 31.1 cm; (plate) 28 x 21.5 cm; (image borderline) 26.2 x 20.4 cm.

Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (on banderole) “MAGNOLIA/ [GRAND]IFLORA”. (Note that the artist’s name is not inscribed.)

Condition: a richly inked, superbly printed (near faultless) impression in exceptionally fine/museum quality condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing.

I am selling this magnificently strong impression with a poetically rich subject exemplifying the spirit of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood for AU$239 (currently US$175.77/EUR147.91/GBP131.65 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this expecially beautiful etching, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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