Allen William Seaby

Kingfisher (no. I) (About 1908)

About this artwork

Seaby learned directly from the Japanese woodcut artist Yoshijuro Urushibara who arrived in Britain in 1908. Urushibara was initially involved in preparations for the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910 in London, but remained in Britain after this, working with the artist Frank Brangwyn and teaching traditional Japanese woodcut techniques to artists and students, including Seaby. This is a tranquil depiction of a kingfisher resting on a branch overlooking a stream. The bare branches of the shrubbery are reflected in the surface of the river creating an intricately patterned background.

Allen William Seaby

Allen William Seaby

Born in London in 1867, Allen Seaby was a painter, illustrator, colour woodcut artist and writer. He studied at Reading University’s School of Art where, from 1920-33, he was Professor of Fine Art. He illustrated and wrote a number of books during his career including: ‘Art in the Life of Mankind’, 1928-31, and ‘Colour Printing with Linoleum and Wood Blocks’, 1928. He also travelled widely in Scotland when he was working on the plates for a book on British birds, from 1910-13. Seaby was an influential exponent of the colour woodcut method with his subjects including birds, animals, and scenes from both the United Kingdom and Europe.

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