David Muirhead Bone (1876 – 1953)
Muirhead Bone was born in Glasgow, and trained originally as an architect. He began making prints in 1898, without any formal training. Although his first known print was a lithograph, he is better known for his etchings and drypoints, usually produced in relatively small editions with the plates reworked through various states. His subject matter was confined to landscape and architectural subjects, often focussing on urban change: construction and demolition sites. He was appointed the first Official War Artist, serving with the Allied Forces on the Western Front in the First World War, and served again as a war artist in World War II. He was knighted in 1937.
Kenneth Guichard, British Etchers 1850-1940, Robin Garton, London 1977
Drawings and dry points by Sir Muirhead Bone 1876-1953, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1955
Drawings by Sir Muirhead Bone 1876-1953, Manchester City Art Gallery, 1955
Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection (www.tate.org.uk). There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.