Title: The Zuider Zee
Size: 21.5cm x 37.8cm
Medium: Dry-point. Signed & editioned, indistinctly "XLIII" 1924

Additional Information
Martin Hardie Cat. No. 220, Edition of 76 proofs. Salaman: "The Zuider Zee shows just three botters running before the wind in a choppy sea, and because the effect of this would have been thin in etching, and the subject needed the suggestions of tone in the hulls and sails moving against the light, and the lines of the waves shadowed by a passing cloud, McBey used dry-point with happy effect:…” McBey was an enthusiastic collector of old paper. Martin Hardie writes; “He felt from the first, that it had qualities of tone and texture and durability that made it desirable for the printing of an etching, and since then “he has used no other”. …And the collector may like to know that he may own proofs printed on paper coming from the volumes in which Rembrandt kept his prints or from one that belonged to Sir Peter Lely in 1669. McBey is loth to use these for the run of an edition; but for almost the whole edition of the Zuider Zee, paper was drawn from the Lely book.”

Price: £800

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About the Artist


McBey was born in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, educated at his village school, and at the age of 15 years became a clerk in the North of Scotland Bank in Aberdeen. He attended evening classes at Grays School of Art, drawing scenes in and around Aberdeen. After reading an article on etching in an art magazine, he borrowed from Aberdeen public library Maxime Lalanne’s treatise on etching Traité de la Gravure a l’Eau-Forte he taught himself how to create etchings on zinc plates. He printed the results on paper using his mother’s washing mangle. By 1910 he had enough confidence in his own ability to abandon banking and spent the summer in Holland where he etched 21 plates. His work was of sufficiently high quality to earn him an exhibition in 1911 at the Goupil Gallery in London and his prints were published in both London and Glasgow.