I’m so fortunate to own this Paul Landacre wood engraving titled “Siesta’ which he made in the 1930s. The image is quite large for this technique measuring 7.5 by 9 inches – the print quality is stunning. At a distance, you might be tricked into thinking it is a mezzotint. I was so happy to have discovered him. He is one of my absolute favourite engravers. He spent most of his life in California where he produced a large volume of work dedicating himself entirely to wood engraving. His technique is amazing! As you can see, he is a master of cross-hatching, allowing him to model shapes with a wide range of stipple-like shading. Of course, he’s not a ‘one-trick pony’, his other work reveals a wide repertoire of engraving techniques. The thing I like most about his work is that he doesn’t rely on technical mastery alone. His choice of subject matter and his draughtsmanship makes for a combination that satisfies me no end when looking at his work. I hate lazy sloppiness in wood engraving. You won’t find any of that in Landacre’s work. His flawless technique results in a beautiful balance between white and black.
I also just discovered Landacre around the time you did, or early 2009. He’s great!
I have 7 Landacre pieces. I too have this one, but interestingly it is titled “Fiesta”, not “Siesta”. I have looked at the title with a magnifying glass to see if it was just a sloppy “S”, but it is definitely an “F”. This print is not numbered. It gives a whole new meaning to the image. Have you ever seen another Fiesta?
That’s great! When I first acquired it I looked high and low to see another copy, with little luck. Awhile ago I was contacted by an archivist who also has one but was titled Siesta. This is a beautiful engraving and I feel so lucky to have it. I believe Swann Galleries in NYC have recently auctioned one of these.
Thanks for letting me know there’s another Siesta or Fiesta out there. Wonder why they’re not numbered?
I also have a copy of Siesta, inherited from my grandparents, who were from California.
Just found on Ebay his Palm Springs Station wood engraving. This is rare and never seldom comes up anywhere. He is one of the finest wood engravers who ever lived.
That’s great, it pays to watch eBay for his work. I agree that Landacre is one of the greats in wood engraving, such precision and terrific subject matter. Will have to make a pilgrimage to his old place in LA one of these days.
You sound like you haven’t seen a large body of his work. We have seen most of his images up close and personal. in our opinion Indecision is most usual for technique. Counterpoint of course is his iconic nude. But our favorite is Spring, 1944. He only did four signed copies. We own two copies. Someone discouraged him from producing more. HIs work is very undervalued. So when you get one hang on to it. Beats inflation!
On the contrary, I’ve seen and admired much of his work. Not sure how you’d get the idea I neglected that area of investigation. However, I do agree that his work is undervalued. I do own some of his prints.