DAVID BROWN MILNE
Private Collection, Ontario
David Milne Jr. and David P. Silcox, David B. Milne: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume 2: 1929-1953, 1998, page 493, no.302.11, for Blind Road, Plowed Ground, on which this drypoint is based.
Rosemarie L. Tovell, Reflections in a Quiet Pool: The Prints of David Milne, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1980, pages 142-143 and plate 59, for Blind Road, illustrated.
David Silcox suggests the subject of this lot is probably Sideroad 25, Albion Township near Palgrave where David Milne (1882-1953) lived from 1930-1933. In a letter from Milne to his friend James Clarke, which Silcox quotes, Milne indicates that this print was based on the canvas Blind Road, Plowed Ground, circa May 1930. Milne writes that the drypoint was “Made from a picture done here this spring and following it rather closely in the colour. In shape too except that the oil goes only half way up the canvas, leaving the rest blank.” Milne noted further interesting differences between the painting and the drypoint, for example, “the shoving up of the composition to fill the plate - the marking of the small contours in the oil (with) big brilliant colour has been used throughout and the thick line is against a contrast. The elm tree, larger in the drypoint, is reduced (united to the rest of the picture) by spots of the same dark blue used in the rest of the etching.”
While this work is numbered “/50” in the lower margin, Rosemarie Tovell describes the editioning of this print as “puzzling”. She notes: “Some impressions were signed out of fifty; others out of twenty-five.” Nonetheless, she continues: “a maximum of only thirteen prints can be accounted for”, concluding that “it is another example of the arbitrary nature of Milne’s edition practice.”