Head of a Peasant
The dramatic lighting employed in this portrait by Strang, an effect for which mezzotint is particularly well suited, bestows an air of distinction upon the head of an otherwise anonymous worker. The subject and treatment, common to Strang, reflects the realist leanings of his teacher, Alphonse Legros, whose sympathies for peasant life in his own etchings exerted a fair influence on a number of English artists during the 1880s. The absence here of a discernible ground pattern—readily evident, for example, in Strang’s Man Ploughing—results in part from the use of sandpaper instead of a rocker to prepare the plate.
Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University
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Mezzotint; image: 10-7/16 x 8-7/16 in. (26.5 x 21.4 cm), sheet: 13-1/16 x 10-1/2 in. (33.3 x 26.7 cm)