John Hall Thorpe ( 1874 - 1947)

Known as Hall Thorpe, was an Australian artist who achieved considerable success in England with his beautiful colour woodcuts prints of flowers.

Thorpe was born in Sandridge, Victoria. He studied at the Society of Arts and was briefly employed at the Illustrated Sydney News. He learned the woodblock engraving as an apprentice at John Fairfax’s Sydney Mail from 1891. When zinc replaced wood as the engraving medium, he became a staff artist, succeeding Norman Hardy as their principal artist in 1897. In 1898 he had several paintings shown at the Grafton Galleries’ “Exhibition of Australian Art” London, and in May 1900 left for England. He attended Heatherley’s School of Art and developed a distinctive style of colored woodcut prints. He exhibited at the Royal Academy’s Colonial Exhibition in 1906 alongside Arthur Streeton, G. W. Lambert, Albert Tucker, Edith Lumley and Hayley Lever. A breakthrough came when he received a favorable notice from eminent critic M. Camille Mauclair. Around this time he changed direction and resuscitated his hard-won skills as a woodblock engraver, producing the large, bold bright colorful prints for which he became famous. He undertook the entire process of; engraving, printing and publishing from his studio at 36 Redcliffe Square, and gallery at 32 Sussex Place, South Kensington.

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