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Etching by Francis Kelly

Aquatint by listed artist

SKU: A-11514 Category:


Francis Kelly (American, b. 1927)

Description: Algarve Coast aquatint edition 31/100, signed Francis Kelly (lower right)
Measurement:              12″ tall x  15″ Wide
Circa:                                unknown

Material:                     Etching

Condition:                   Great Vintage condition

Extra Notes:

Francis Kelly was born in 1927 in St. Paul Minnesota. He served in the United States Navy from 1944-1948 when he entered the Art Center School, Los Angeles.  He received his early education in Chicago and California. 

During 1951 in 1952 he lived in Paris, attending the Academie de la Grande, Chaumiere. In 1953 he went to the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, and then to the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was graphic laboratory assistant to John Paul Jones.

Awarded a Fulbright Grant in 1955 he came to the Graphic Department of the Central School, London. The St. George’s Gallery first introduced his etchings in Britain. In 1958 Kelly was awarded the Stacy Grant for painting. His work has been shown at Royal Academy Exhibitions and he has traveled extensively.

In 1966 he was appointed Art organizer for the U.S. Embassy “Festival of Arts in Humanities”. His paintings were shown in the exhibition “Five American Artists in Britain”. During 1976 he acted in a similar capacity on behalf of Windsor & Newton Ltd., who sponsored an exhibition of American artists commemorating the U.S. Bicentennial. He appeared in the film “Science in Art”.

Kelly has studied painting conservation at the Courtald Institute. In 1967 he was sent to the Italian Art and Archives Rescue Fund to Florence to restore flood damage paintings. In 1971 his book, Art Restoration, was published by David and Charles and in the U.S. by McGraw-Hill. His second book, the Studio and The Artist was published in1975


Francis Kelly is an American born artist who has spent most of his life working in the UK. This is from his series “Waterways”, which is inspired by the movement and play of light upon water in rivers and waterways. This fascination has culminated in frequent trips to Venice. His attention is usually focused on the ever-changing refractions of light in the city’s canals and an increasing pattern of abstraction is evident in these compositions.

Aquatint is a method of etching that produces finely granulated tonal areas rather than lines, so that finished prints often resemble watercolour or wash drawings. A copper plate is exposed to acid through a layer of granulated resin or sugar, which yields a finely speckled gray tone when the plate is inked and printed. The texture and depth of tone are controlled by the strength of the acid baths and the length of time the plate is exposed to them. Aquatint became the most popular method of producing toned prints in the late 18th century; its most notable practitioner was Francisco Goya. In the 19th century Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro experimented with it, and in the 20th century the sugar aquatint was employed by Pablo Picasso, Georges Rouault, and André Masson.