Estate of E.R. Hunter, West Palm Beach, Florida
This 1929-1930 drypoint is based on a crucial painting Milne made in the autumn of 1921 at Dart's Lake in the Adirondacks: Across the Lake I. Initially he had thought to paint some reflections in the wide stretch of water across which he painted the strip of distant shore and Dart's Camp, but decided to leave both the sky and the water blank. This device or arrangement can perhaps be traced back a decade or more to Milne's admiration of Whistler's etching.A more immediate source, however, is likely Milne's experience painting the battlefields of France and Belgium in the wake of the First World War. There, Milne's painting style evolved into a dry, sparse, and almost gaunt style, as he faced the mayhem, chaos, ruin, and turmoil of dead and destroyed forests, buildings, farms, and the ever-present stench of death. His dry-brush watercolours emerged from this intense experience and catapulted him into some of the most productive years of his life. From that came this powerful image and this remarkably fresh and concentrated impression, which has never been framed and hung until now.
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