Paul Landacre



Wood engraving

Image size 10 1/4 x 7 5/8 inches (261 x 194 mm)

Edition 78 or fewer (second block, first edition)

Keith Sheridan, LLC

Myrtle Beach, SC


$5,500 - $12,000

More Information

A fine, black impression from the second block, on cream Japan Kitakata, with full margins (1 1/4 to 2 3/8 inches), in excellent condition.

Los Angeles artist and critic Arthur Miller wrote in the forward to Landacre’s 1931 book “California Hills and Other Wood Engravings” that his works “stand out through the clarity of his technique and the beauty of his vision”. Miller went on to predict that in Landacre’s future work a melding of his “intensely individual” vision with his “carefully developed classical realism” would further distinguish the artist as a unique talent. The minimalist elegance of "Tuonela" represents the culmination of Landacre's quest to distill his awe of the California landscape to its pure mystical essence.

After the first block broke early in the edition, Landacre recarved the image, preserving the original composition but significantly simplifying the shading overall. Originally dissatisfied with the work, Landacre set it aside. Returning to it after some time, he saw in it some suggestion of the feeling in ‘The Swan of Tuonela’, a tone poem by Finland’s Jan Sibelius, one of his favorite composers, and decided on the title 'Tuonela'. He then sent an impression to Sibelius with another of his portrait of the composer which he created for the KECA classical music program cover series. Sibelius gratefully responded in a letter: “They are beautiful and interesting things and I especially like the one called ‘Tuonela’, which expresses so much. Landacre ultimately included the print in a group reserved for his wife which he considered his best engravings.