Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Evelyn Gibbs (1905-1991)   BIOGRAPHY

The Departure - Design for an Etching, 1928
Framed (ref: 55)
Signed, dated and inscribed with title

Pen and ink over pencil on paper, 5 1/2 x 6 3/4 in. (14 x 17 cm.)


Evelyn Gibbs was the 1929 British School at Rome Scholar in Engraving. The Departure, 1928, is one of Gibbs' most evocative pre-Rome images. The monumentality of the figures owes as much to J. F. Millet as it does to the Italian Primitives. Gibbs reworked the composition of The Departure in her first Rome etching, Morning, (January 1930), which shows two figures and a child, the man setting off to work in the sunlit fields beyond their gate.

For The Departure, Gibbs initially indicated an edition of 50, then reduced it to 40. Probably she printed far fewer. We are grateful to Pauline Lucas for her assistance.

Evelyn Gibbs (1905-1991)

Printmaker, draughtsman, painter and teacher, born in Liverpool, where she studied at the School of Art, 1922-6; at the Royal College of Art, 1926-9; then at British School at Rome, 1929-31. Taught at Goldsmiths College of Art and showed at the RA, NEAC, RE and other major venues. Morley Gallery held a posthumous exhibition in 1994. Gibbs was a fine draughtswoman in the classical tradition and her work is held by the Arts Council, the Tate Gallery, the Ashmolean Museum and other public collections.

Like many of the artists who studied at the British School at Rome - Monnington and Stroudley, for instance - having amply demonstrated a remarkable facility for realism, she latterly moved increasingly towards abstraction.

Selected Literature: Pauline Lucas, Evelyn Gibbs, Artist and Traveller, Five Leaves Publications, 2001.

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