From an Office Window thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

From an Office Window

Print
1918 (made)
Artist/Maker

Nevinson (1889-1946) has connections with Italian Futurist artists, but whereas their paintings often favour a semi-abstract, geometricised style using flamboyant colour and dynamic movement, his work tends to be quieter both in palette and subject-matter. He worked as an ambulance driver during the First World War but was invalided out in 1916 and suffered a nervous breakdown in 1918, the year this print was made. Mezzotint at that time was hardly in use by any artist. It is a form of engraving capable of giving a range of tones, from rich velvety black to white; these can be worked into very subtle gradations. Nevinson used the technique to great effect in this image, where sharp diagonals are combined with blurred edges, evoking grime, smog and claustrophobia. Two other mezzotints made about the same time are equally dark in mood.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Mezzotint on paper
Brief Description
'From an office window'. Mezzotint by C.R.W. Nevinson, 1918.
Physical Description
Urban roofscape seen from a window in monochrome
Dimensions
  • Image height: 254mm
  • Image width: 178mm
  • Sheet height: 291mm
  • Sheet width: 233mm
Marks and Inscriptions
'C.R.W.Nevinson 1918' (Signed and dated in black chalk)
Object history
This impression was No.25 in the exhibition of etchings and lithographs by 19th and 20th century masters, held at the Leicester Galleries, November 1962. The painting of this subject is in the collection of Sir Osbert Sitwell, Bart.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Nevinson (1889-1946) has connections with Italian Futurist artists, but whereas their paintings often favour a semi-abstract, geometricised style using flamboyant colour and dynamic movement, his work tends to be quieter both in palette and subject-matter. He worked as an ambulance driver during the First World War but was invalided out in 1916 and suffered a nervous breakdown in 1918, the year this print was made. Mezzotint at that time was hardly in use by any artist. It is a form of engraving capable of giving a range of tones, from rich velvety black to white; these can be worked into very subtle gradations. Nevinson used the technique to great effect in this image, where sharp diagonals are combined with blurred edges, evoking grime, smog and claustrophobia. Two other mezzotints made about the same time are equally dark in mood.
Bibliographic References
  • Timmers, Margaret (Ed). Impressions of the Twentieth Century: Fine Art Prints from the V&A's Collection. London, V&A Publications, 2001.
  • Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1962. London: HMSO, 1964.
  • Catalogue of an exhibition of original etchings and lithographs by modern masters, London : Ernest Brown & Phillips, 196no.25
Collection
Accession Number
E.2972-1962

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record createdDecember 17, 2002
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