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Norman Hirst (1862-1956) -Signed & Framed 1913 Mezzotint, The Patterson Children

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A fine mezzotint by the British printmaker Norman Hirst after the oil painting 'The Paterson Children' by Sir Henry Raeburn RA. The artwork shows a group of three children in his distinctively romantic, hyper-realist style. The print has been signed in pencil within the plate line and inscribed on the reverse in another hand. Well presented in a card mount and simple gilt frame. On wove.


There are some light surface scratches and scuffing to the frame. With minor foxing and discolouration visible to the edges of the print, as shown.


45.5 x 36.7cm (17.9" x 14.4")
Framed Size: 62.5 x 53.8cm (24.6" x 21.2")

Artist Biography

Mezzotinter and engraver born in Liverpool, but there is no knowledge of his primary or artistic education, until at the age of 23, when he joined the Herkomer Art School, Bushey in 1885. Having arrived in Bushey he obtained a two-year scholarship at the School and then remained in the village until 1895. His first exhibited work was an engraving, shown in 1890 at both the Royal Academy and at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and he also showed in the June 1892 exhibition of work by Herkomer School students held at the Fine Art Society in New Bond Street. His reputation is first and foremost as a mezzotint engraver due to his insightful reproductions of works by Gainsborough, Lawrence, Romney, Watteau and others. During his long life, he showed at the Royal Academy 44 times, Dowdeswells, Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers and Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. Hirst was elected an Associate member of the RE in 1931. He was involved in a renowned court case of 1917 when he was called as an expert witness on the work of George Romney, the famous 18th century English portrait artist. An American collector had purchased a portrait allegedly by Romney and showing Mrs Siddons and her sister Miss Fanny Kemble. He paid £20,000 (now well in excess of £1million) for it to a New Bond Street dealership and later had qualms as to its authenticity. So he took the firm to court demanding his money back. The case was defended and the experts were divided, but Norman Hirst was one of the experts who correctly said that the work was not by Romney. Hirst, with his intimate familiarity of Romney's works gained by his skilful copying in mezzotint, was well placed to be an authority in this dispute. In the event, the case was spectacularly concluded with the discovery of clear documentary evidence and artistic proof that the painting was, in fact, a portrait of the Waldegrave Sisters by Ozias Humphrey. Hirst whose work was published by Frost & Reed was a member of the Society of Mezzotint Engravers and examples of his paintings are in the collection of Bushey Museum and Art Gallery, Museums Sheffield and the Williamson Art Gallery.

More Information
Code kn345
Artist Norman Hirst (1862-1956)
Date 1913
Dimensions 45.5 x 36.7cm
Framed Yes
Medium Mezzotint
Style Realism
Subject Children & Infants
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