Wednesday, March 20, 2019

399. Charles Shannon. Cancelled Stone

A lot of Charles Shannon's lithographs are portraits of friends, others depict nude women; there are genres such as landscapes, street scenes, cartoons or interiors that apparently didn't inspire him. Shannon owned a litho press and could print his own lithographs using heavy stones for the process.

Charles Shannon, 'Portrait of the Artist'  (1905) [British Museum]
After the print run was finished, the stones were cancelled. It is extremely rare to find prints of cancelled stones, but the British Museum owns a 'Portrait of the Artist', a lithograph printed in 1905, that has been printed from the cancelled stone.

Charles Shannon, 'Portrait of the Artist'  (1905) [British Museum]
By way of a cross Shannon had cancelled the stone. A print of a cancelled plate may be uncommon, this example is even more poignant. Shannon will have printed the self-portrait himself, which makes this survival from the printing studio extraordinary as well as slightly lugubrious.