Gustav Kruell Original Woodcut After Elihu Vedder Painting The Phorcydes Nudes 1880 Block Print in Archival Mat, Not Framed

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Title: The Phorcydes
Artist: Gustav Kruell - (1843-1907) - German born American artist
Technique: Original Wood Engraving after Elihu Vedder painting.
Dimensions: Sheet size - 8-1/2 x 12 inches, Image size - 6-1/8 x 7-1/8 inches, Mat side - 11 x 14 inches.
Paper: Natural smooth paper
Date Published: 1880
Edition Size: Limited Edition as published by the American Art Review in 1880.
Signed: Signed in the woodblock, not pencil signed.
References: The American Art Review (1880).
This print is in the collection of the Georgetown University Library and can be seen on their website.
Condition: Excellent Condition without any flaws. This print has never previously been matted or framed.
Presentation: Placed in a solid core archival ivory mat with archival materials. Blank on the back, not laid down. This wood engraving can be safely stored in the mat or placed in a standard frame.
Description: Gustav Kruell is considered one of the finest wood engravers this country has ever produced. Much of his work involved engraving famous paintings for reproduction in magazines, but he also produced fine art works in which the inspiration was his own rather than from another artist.

"The Phorcydes" was engraved after the 1878 oil painting by American artist Elihu Vedder. In Greek mythology the Phorcydes were the children of Phorcys and Ceto. The ones painted by Vedder and engraved by Kruell are the Graeae (Deino, Enyo, and Pemphredo).

Kruell's engraving was highly praised by William James Litton in his History of Wood-Engraving in America. "Not so delicate as this, but more characteristic of the engraver's normal style," he wrote, " is the capital rendering of Vedder's Phorcydes in the June number of the American Art Review,a piece of vigorous artistry in which Mr. Kruell has no rival. Especially I admire the flesh of the three figures, and the good drawing (so often wanting) of hands and feet as well as faces."

Elihu Vedder, a major Symbolist painter, book illustrator, and poet, decorated the lobby of the central reading room in the Library of Congress with five allegorical murals, as well as the second floor visitor’s gallery with a magnificent mosaic of Minerva. In 1878 he was commissioned to make a painting of the Phorcydes for a client. This wood engraving published in The American Art Review (Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1880) with a feature article on Vedder, reproduced that work still owned by a private collector.

Born in Germany, Gustav Kruell arrived in America in 1873 and immediately became known for his wood engravings. Wood engraving is a technique in printmaking—the artist uses an engraving tool, or a burin, to cut out areas of the wood for the image. It is a created by the relief process, meaning the raised area of the wood receives the ink.

n 1881, Gustav Kruell organized the Society of American Wood Engravers. He made more than 200 portraits including those of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and General Ulysses S. Grant. His portrait of Abraham Lincoln is considered his finest work. Kruell is known for his artistic appreciation of light and shade and his sympathetic interpretation of his sitters.

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