William Strang

Scottish (1859 - 1921)
William Strang William Strang, 1859 - 1921. Artist (Self-portrait) About 1905


Born 1859
Died 1921
Nationality Scottish
Birth place Dumbarton
Death place Bournemouth

Born in Dumbarton, William Strang was briefly a clerk in the family shipbuilding firm before he entered the Slade School of Art in London in 1876. At the Slade he was deeply influenced by the teaching of Alphonse Legros, particularly the etching class which Legros instituted in 1877. The subject matter of Strang's etchings, largely produced between 1880 and 1900, ranges from intense portraits to scenes of working class life and imaginary grotesques. By the turn of the century, Strang was developing the symbolic themes of his printed work in oil paintings, using rich colours in a style ultimately influenced by Venetian art.

Glossary terms

  • A printmaking technique that uses a needle to etch an image directly onto a copper plate. The resulting raised surface, or burr, which holds the ink used in the printmaking process produces a soft, velvety effect.

  • A method of drawing using a soft metal rod, often silver, on a prepared surface.

  • 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.

  • A print made from an image carved into a block of wood cut along the grain. Blank areas are cut away leaving an image in relief from which a print is made.