Peasant Girl
© Richard Woodward

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This is a painted version of one of the sisters featured in Brockhurst’s 1928 etching, ‘The West of Ireland’. Brockhurst told the story that this child was not favoured by her mother, whom he had also depicted, and so committed suicide by drowning herself. The artist claimed the image was a premonition of this. This idea reflects his interest in the often irrational mysteries of humanity. With heavy eyelids, the girl stares vacantly out of the work, as if she is having some other-worldly experience.

Glossary Open

Etching

A form of printmaking in which a metal plate is covered with a substance called a 'ground', usually wax, into which an image is drawn with a needle. Acid is applied, eroding the areas of the plate exposed but not the areas covered by wax. The action of the acid creates lines in the metal plate that hold the ink from which a print is made when the plate is pressed against paper under pressure.

Surrealism

A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Etching, Surrealism

Details

  • Acc. No. GMA 4850
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 63.00 x 44.00 cm
  • Credit Presented by Mr Richard Woodward 2005