Trees and Rocks above Liverpool

WAG 8343


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.