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Clare Leighton (American, b. England, 1898-1989), "Ploughing", 1930, wood engraving, signed, titled, numbered in pencil

Clare Leighton (American, b. England, 1898-1989), "Ploughing", 1930, wood engraving, signed, titled, numbered in pencil

Item Description:

Titled "Ploughing" and numbered "XII/XX" in pencil lower left margin (there was also an edition of 30), outside of the book publication for "The Farmer's Year" (1933), signed in pencil lower right, matted and framed


Minor toning and acid staining. Examined outside of frame. Sheet is mounted to backing with pieces of tape at upper left and upper right corners. Stains on the mat. Please contact for specific condition questions and to request a full condition report. Lofty does not guarantee the condition or authenticity of frames.


Private collection


Image: Height 7.25 in. x Width 10 in.

Frame: Height 14.5 in. x Width 18.5 in.

About The Artist:

Clare Leighton was born and raised in London. Her parents were successful fiction writers and encouraged her to pursue a path in the arts. Leighton studied painting at Slade School of Fine and printmaking with Noel Rooke at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. Rooke helped found the Arts and Crafts woodcut revival in Britain.

In the 1930s, Leighton began traveling to the U.S. and Canada. She found inspiration in the sprawling North American landscape and agrarian communities. Leighton's series of Canadian lumberjacks was particularly well-received and earned her international recognition as an accomplished wood engraver. She moved to the U.S. in 1939.

Leighton went on to illustrate numerous books, including Emily BrontåÔ's Wuthering Heights and Thomas Hardy's Under the Greenwood Tree. Her illustrations were prized by British and American authors alike for their adept and sensitive renderings of critical moments.

Leighton published The Farmer's Year: A Calendar of English Husbandry in 1933. The volume describes and illustrates the revered traditions of pre-industrial England, including Sheep Shearing, Ploughing, Cider-Making, Threshing, and Lambing. Leighton found these activities particularly interesting and explored this subject throughout her career.

Ploughing depicts a single figure diligently plowing a field with his team. Leighton sets the farmer close in the foreground and knee-deep in his work. A luminous sky and a muddy earth below offset the low horizon. Leighton sought to represent the workaday existence of the rural laborer. Even as an outsider, she identified with the working classes of England, and one can easily sense her sympathetic and faithful commitment to rendering their daily activities. The young farmer is in perfect accord with his surroundings.


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Clare Leighton (American, b. England, 1898-1989), "Ploughing", 1930, wood engraving, signed, titled, numbered in pencil

Listed price: $2,000.00

Contact Lofty