Arthur B. Davies Rare Trial Proof Pencil Signed Mezzotint Etching Entreat Nude with Uplifted Arms 1927


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Entreat, also known as Nude with Uplifted Arms, is an original pencil signed Mezzotint etching by American artist Arthur B. Davies - (1862-1928). This is a rare Trial Proof printed by Frank Nankivell in 1927 before the small Limited Edition.

Title: Entreat
Artist: Arthur B. Davies - (1862-1928) - American artist.
Technique: Original Mezzotint etching.
Date Published: 1927
Signature: Signed in pencil by the artist, and with additional notations at the bottom of the sheet.
Edition Size: Proof printed before a small Limited Edition
Dimensions: Sheet size - 8 x 11-7/8 inches, Image size - 4 x 6 inches, Mat size - 12 x 15 inches.
References: Arthur B. Davies: A Catalogue Raisonne of the Prints (1987) by Joseph S. Czestochowski. In the catalog Entreat is Print No. 217. This was the only state.
This print is in the several major collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago which shows it on their website.
Condition: This is a Trial Proof. There is a thin white line under the model's chin that probably came from a wrinkle in the paper during printing. Overall the condition is Very Good.
Printing: A strong impression printed in black ink on natural Japan paper by printmaker Frank Nankivell.
Presentation: Placed in a cream archival mat. Blank on the back, not laid down. Ships in a plastic sleeve.
Description: Entreat is an excellent example of the nude studies made by American artist Arthur B. Davies (1862-1928) in several techniques including painting, etching and lithograph. This work is a Mezzotint which has a richness and depth that can't be achieved in the normal etching process. It is a rare and beautiful print.

Davies was interested in a variety of body cultures and exercises including yoga. There is speculation that the nude with her raised arms is practicing the Sun Salutation, one of the best known yoga postures. A blog from the Rollins Museum of Art offered this interesting perspective:

"It is in Entreat most of all, however, where the influence of yoga seems most pronounced. The mezzotint, with its hazy, almost wash-like use of fine crosshatched lines, is ample evidence of Davies’ careful study of the human form. The figure, with her taut muscles, extended arms, and chest full of breath, is every bit the picture of potential energy. At the same time, her focused eyes and serene face speak to a spiritual calm, a calm that Davies believed came hand in hand with this posture."

Arthur Bowen Davies was born in Utica, New York. He studied at the Chicago Academy of Design from 1879 to 1882, and later briefly at the Chicago Art Institute. In 1885, he relocated to New York City where he enrolled at the Art Students League and the Gotham Art Students League, supporting himself as a billboard painter, engineering draftsman and magazine illustrator. He made the first of many trips to Europe in 1893, visiting Holland, Paris and London. Upon returning to the United States, he settled in Congers, New York. His style combined elements of Symbolism, Tonalism, Art Nouveau and Cubism. He began making prints in the 1880s and produced about 220 graphic works between 1916 and 1928, when he died at his studio in Florence, Italy.

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