Concord and Cavendish Morton
`Spring Rhapsody` 1933
A RARE and highly collectable woodblock print by the Morton twins dating to 1933. The image is a famous one `Spring Rhapsody`- a print was purchased by the Contemporary Art Society for the print room of the British Museum back in the 1930`s. The view is actually a scene in the Isle of Wight, most of their woodblock prints depict this area, and is reputedly `looking towards Brading from Bembridge harbour. Signed in pencil by both brothers, and numbered and dated, I think this would have been from an early edition.
The Morton twins studied the art of Japanese woodblock printing under Urushibara with Seaby and Fletcher, and the print would have been made with numerous colour blocks, typically a process which took about 18 months. The print would have been executed on simile Japan paper, a handmade fibrous paper which reproduces the slight impressions of the wooden block which can be seen in the print. Margins are good, smallest on right hand side about 0.75". Print laid on card backing but only attached on the very edge.

The print was sealed in its original gallery frame when I acquired it (see Pics) but the mount was stained, so it has been remounted in original colour. Framed by Boots of Nottingham, inside the backing was an edition of the `Nottingham Journal 19th April 1933`- can`t get better providence than that! Newspaper will be included.

Cavendish and Concord Morton (b.1911) were the twin sons of the artist Cavendish Morton ( 1874-1939) who was an artist and actor, he is accredited with the invention of celebrity photography, since on taking up the activity in the 1890`s he would photograph many of the leading actors and actresses of his day.

The twins were born in Edinburgh and raised in London where they were subjected to a breathtaking education by a retinue of experts and associates of their parents. Trained in singing, piano, poetry and performance, they also had a thorough artistic and engineering training. Having studied Japanese woodblock printing they developed the style in a peculiarly English way. It is unusual to find artworks created by two brothers, but this also would appear to be an English phenomenon, as there are other examples within the English print tradition.

As far as I know Cavendish Morton is still living, which would make him 100 years old! He has continued to be active in the arts all his life - if you google him you will find lots of information. Cavendish Morton has exhibited widely including the Royal Academy and the Royal Institute, work is held in many public and private collections.


Mediumoil on canvas  Conditionvery good- slight age fading
 Image size20 x 14 inches   Provenancesigned lower right, numbered and dated lower left, 1933 newspaper backing!
 Overall size26 x 21 inches 
Age1933 Price   SOLD OCTOBER 2012