Literature: Craig Hartley, "Frank Auerbach Etchings & Drypoints 1954-2006", Cambridge and London, 2007 p 14 No 3 This drypoint, his earlier print, is from a group of six the artist made while still a student at the Royal College of Art in 1954. They are based on life drawings chosen from the several hundred he had made over the previous few years, and were executed in the most direct means possible. Taking a nail set into a pen-holder, he redrew the figures on pieces of zinc alloy, scratching the lines, pressing ink into the scratches, and then printed them by laying over a sheet of dampened paper and rubbing the back with a spoon. For Auerbach the process of redrawing a subject is always one of rethinking and reformulation, and in this case the move from one medium to another, from charcoal drawing to drypoint print, involved shifting the modulations of shading and volume. The prints were achieved by trial and error, with much burnishing to polish away unwanted lines. In some places the pressure of the spoon cut the paper on the drypoint burr. They were never formally editioned as a set, and the dozen or so sets that survive went to fellow artists and friends. They show the strength of an artist at the start of his career striving for the authentic realisation of his subject in an unfamiliar medium.