Emile Verpilleux 1888– 1964
The Railway Station (St. Pancras) 1912
Colour woodcut 14 × 18 inches (35.5 × 45.7 cm)
Signed and dated
Born in London to a Scottish mother and Belgian father, Verpilleux studied at Regent Street Polytechnic and the Académie des Beaux Arts, Antwerp. The colour woodcuts he made from 1910 to 1914 were highly acclaimed, and he became the first artist to have colour print exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. In 1913, J.B. Manson commented in The Studio that he 'was capable of producing effects of vibrating colour of great subtlety and delicacy which has not previously been attempted ... and of having brought the art of woodcutting to a very high point ... the most subtle effects of colour, intimately and harmoniously related'. Further recognition came in the 1920s when Malcolm Salaman devoted an issue of Masters of the Colour Print to Verpilleux. He continued working and exhibiting in London until the mid-1930s, when he moved to Bermuda. Here he established himself as one of the island’s most prolific and respected artists.
'St. Pancras Railway Station shows the great arched roof of glass and steel girders. The bustle of passengers, luggage and porters is seen in a dark crowd across the foreground…engines are steaming up, each one further away from us, their smoke rising and taking the light, and over all the huge arched vista reaching to the line of daylight' - Malcolm Salaman, Masters of the Colour Print, 1927