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ROBIN TANNER A.R.E. (1904 – 1988)

 

 

“Wren & Primrose”

Original Etching

Etched 1935.  Ref: Garton 19 only state

Plate size 3 5/8” x 4 3/8”  (92mm x 112mm).  Paper size 5 ½” x 7” (139mm x 178mm)

Overall framed size 12 7/8” x 12 7/8” (326mm x 326mm)

Good strong impression from the edition issued in K.M. Guichards “British Etchers” 1850 – 1940

Published by Robin Garton in 1977. Signed by the artist in pencil                                                                                IMAGE          IMAGE

 

 

 

“Full Moon”

Original Etching

Etched 1973.  Ref: Garton 29 State iii/iii

Plate size 9 5/8” x 7 ½” (245mm x 189mm).  Paper size 12 7/8” x 10 ¼” (328mm x 258mm)

Overall framed size 18” x 15 1/8” (456mm x 383mm)

Good strong impression from the edition issued in K.M. Guichards “British Etchers” 1850 – 1940

Published by Robin Garton in 1977.  Signed by the artist in pencil                                                                               IMAGE          IMAGE

 

 

“The Old Road (Elegy for the English Elm)”

Original Etching

Etched 1976.  Ref: Garton 76 State iii/iii

Plate size 11 7/8” x 9 3/8” (300mm x 238mm).  Paper size 12 7/8” x 10 1/8” (328mm x 256mm)

Overall framed size 20 ¼” x 17” (512mm x 430mm)

Good strong impression from the edition issued in K.M. Guichards “British Etchers” 1850 – 1940

Published by Robin Garton in 1977.  Signed by the artist in pencil                                                                               IMAGE          IMAGE

 

 

 

 

 

Robin Tanner was an etcher, draughtsman and painter in watercolour.  He was also a teacher and writer.  He was born in Bristol but spent most of his life in northwest Wiltshire, which was the main subject of his work.  In 1921 he became a student teacher in a local school and he also taught at a poor school in Greenwich.  In 1927 he studied at Goldsmiths’ School of Art in the evenings, where his etchings began with Alington in Wiltshire.  His teachers included Clive Gardiner and Stanley Anderson and he was influenced by Blake, Palmer and F.L.M. Griggs.  In 1970 he returned to Wiltshire and married the writer Heather Tanner, who was to supply the text of several joint books.  They had a house built at Kington Langley. In the 1929 slump he took a teaching job while continuing his artistic work and in 1934 was elected to the Society of Painters in Tempera.  In 1935 Tanner was made a schools inspector, working initially in Leeds, then in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, where he advocated liberal ideas in arts and crafts teaching.  He retired in 1964, which allowed him to take up etching again after a gap of about 20 years.   A painstaking craftsman, he completed only about 40 plates.  Tanner was a Quaker who revered the countryside and traditional crafts.  Among his books were Wiltshire Village, 1939; Flowers of the Meadow, 1948; Woodland Plants, 1981 and his autobiography Double Harness in 1987.  There was a retrospective at the City of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford in 1980-81.  In 1988 Garton & Co. held a memorial show.  There was a substantial exhibition of etchings at Wine Street Gallery, Devizes in 2003.  In 2004 a show reviewing his achievement accompanied the Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fair; and Visions of Landscape, works by Samuel Palmer and Tanner, was organised by the Fine Art Society.  British Etchers published by Guichard, Prior and Garton in 1977 says of Robin Tanner “The comparatively recent recognition of Robin Tanner is overdue.  Steeped in the English countryside, this modest artist has greatly enriched our Pastoral Tradition………..The titles of the etchings speak for themselves, announcing an idyllic world which today hovers on the verge of extinction.  Tanner continued his traditional etching in Wiltshire and was an active trustee of the Crafts Study Centre in Bath.  By those critics gifted with smart vocabularies to analyse trends, a native art tinged with nostalgia is scarcely noticed, but in this era of extreme uncertainty where traditional values are being questioned or discarded, the art of Robin Tanner sounds a note of sanity uncompromised by the demands of commerce.”  Tanner himself wrote “It is encouraging, always, to find that anyone likes my work.  You see, I can’t change it: I have to do what comes naturally, out of me, and I am of course aware how ‘old-fashioned’ it is!”

 

 

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