Charles Shannon (1863 – 1937)
Charles Shannon was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. He studied at the City and Guilds Technical Art School in Lambeth, London where he met his life-long friend and collaborator Charles Ricketts. In 1898 they moved into Whistler’s former house, The Vale, in Chelsea, which provided the name for their private press. The same year he took up lithography and began exhibiting as a painter; he also achieved some importance as a wood engraver. In all he made some 109 lithographs and was one of the very few lithographers working in England who had their own press at a time when lithography was in danger of being abandoned as an artistic medium. His lithographic work falls into two periods: 1889-97 and 1904-9. Many were based on paintings which showed an influence from the Italian painters of the fifteenth century and the Pre-Raphaelite painters. The works in the British Council collection fall mostly into the latter period, but does include works from Daphnis and Chlöe (1893), the most successful book published by the artist with Charles Ricketts.
Out of the Wood British Woodcuts and Wood Engravings 1890-1945, The British Council 1991
Lithography means, literally, stone drawing. In addition to fine grain lithographic stones, metal plates can also be used for lithography. The method relies on the fact that grease repels water. An image is drawn in a greasy medium onto the stone or plate, which is then dampened with water. Greasy printing ink rolled onto that surface will adhere to the design but be repelled by the damp area. The inked image is transferred to the paper via a press. For large editions, the grease is chemically fixed to the stone, and gum arabic, which repels any further grease marks but does not repel water, is applied to the rest of the surface. For colour lithography the artist uses a separate stone or plate for each colour required.
Refers to either the material used to create a work of art, craft or design, i.e. oil, bronze, earthenware, silk; or the technique employed i.e. collage, etching, carving. In painting the medium refers to the binder for the pigment, e.g. oil, egg, acrylic dispersion. The plural form is media.