|Dimensions||Image and plate 301 x 467 mm, Sheet 190 x 268 mm|
Signed in pencil
Bone's view of Oxford, drawn from Hinksey was executed in 1905, thirty five years before he came to live in Oxford. Featuring the distant spires and domes of Oxford rising above a belt of trees, this fine drypoint is one of only thirty eight impressions. "Distant Oxford" is a dry point, which wears very quickly under the pressure of printing, and like many of his other works makes Muirehead Bone's etchings and dry points very difficult to acquire.
The son of a printer, Bone was born in Glasgow and trained initially as an architect, later going on to study art at Glasgow School of Art. He began printmaking in 1898, and although his first known print was a lithograph, he is better known for his etchings and drypoints. His subject matter was principally related to landscapes, architecture (which often focussed on urban construction and demolition sites) and industry.
In 1901 he moved to London, where he met William Strang, D.S. MacColl and Alphonse Legros, and later became a member of the New English Art Club. After the outbreak of the First World War, Charles Masterman, head of the British War Propaganda Bureau and acting on the advice of William Rothenstein, appointed Bone as Britain's first official war artist in May 1916.
Commissioned as an honorary Second Lieutenant, he arrived in France during the Battle of the Somme, serving with the Allied forces on the Western Front and also with the Royal Navy for a time. He produced 150 drawings of the war, returning to England in October of that year. Over the next few months Bone returned to his earlier subject matter, drawing pictures of shipyards and battleships. He visited France again in 1917 where he took particular interest in the ruined towns and villages.
After the Armistice, Bone returned to the type of works he produced before the war, and was influential in promoting fellow war artists William Orpen and Wyndham Lewis. He began to undertake extensive foreign travels which increasingly influenced his work. In 1923 he produced three portraits of the novelist Joseph Conrad during an Atlantic crossing. In the inter-war period he exhibited extensively in London and New York, building up a considerable reputation. He received a knighthood in 1937, and served again as official war artist in the Second World War from 1940.
Sir Muirhead Bone died in 1953 in Oxford.
Condition: Some surface rubbing to margins not affecting the image and the print has been backed.