Trees and Rocks Above Liverpool

Frank Sir Short, 1890

WAG 8343

About this object

This image recalls how the ancient Romans viewed Liverpool -- “a rocky creek in the vicinity of Deva (Chester).” The gnarled trunk of the tree jutting out from the rock face provides a frame for the composition, reminiscent of Japanese prints much admired by many 19th century artists.
Meticulously etched, with strong lines and dark inking, the tree and its knotty roots are clearly the focus of Short’s interest. Such a detailed observation of the tree, against the almost hazy horizon of the Wirral across the blank space of water, evokes a profound sense of depth and distance.

Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by the Trustees of the Estate of Miss Dorothea Short in 1973, No. 8343

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Sir Frank Short (British, born:19 June 1857, died:22 April 1945)
  • Date
    1890
  • Materials
    Paper; Etching
  • Measurements
    13.5 x 22.2 cm
  • Physical description
    An etching of a rocky edge of the river Mersey and a tree growing out of it, on the right half. A distant view across the river is the shores of Wirral. The Wirral peninsula appears merely as a low-hilled landmass, with minimal and almost perfunctory outlines showing a series of sail ships moored along its shoreline. On top right, a naked tree is jutting out from the rocky face, its branches spanning sideway across the top third of the canvas. The gnarly trunk of the tree, the focus of this etched image, is depicted in great details with strong lines and dark inking, with knotty roots seemingly twisted among themselves, standing in great contrast to the almost bare rock below.
  • Related people
    Sir Frank Short (Artist/maker, previous owner); Trustees of the Estate of Dorothea Short (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 8343
  • Credit line
    Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by the Trustees of the Estate of Miss Dorothea Short in 1973.
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Trustees of the Estate of Dorothea Short

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1973
    Disposal method: Presented to the Walker Art Gallery
  • Sir Frank Short

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded

Inscriptions

Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: FRANK SHORT
    Inscription method: Pencil
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Below plate; Front; Lower right
  • Inscription text: Hardie 251
    Inscription method: Pencil
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Back; Lower left
Object view = Fine Art
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