Edmund BLAMPIED 1886 - 1966
One of the most eminent artists from the Channel Islands, Edmund Blampied is best known for his etchings and drypoints depicting rural life on his native island of Jersey. Also a prominent lithographer and caricaturist, Blampied produced a prolific amount of work during his career, despite no formal art training before the age of 16. In 1903, he enrolled at the South London School of Technical Art with a scholarship where he was taught by Philip Connard, an eminent oil and watercolour painter. In 1905, Blampied transferred to the LCC School of Photo-engraving and Lithography where he became associated with other artists and illustrators.
Around 1911, Blampied set up his own independent studio in order to further his career, mainly in the field of illustration. Most importantly, he became connected with the Scottish book publishers Thomas Nelson and Sons of Edinburgh, for whom he illustrated many children's books and annuals during and after the First World War. In 1919, he was elected an associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers, receiving a full fellowship in 1920.
In October 1920, Blampied had his first solo exhibition of etchings and drypoints at the Leicester Galleries, and returned to exhibit paintings and drawings in 1923. Due to the 1930s depression, the market for etchings fell and Blampied turned to cartoons and caricatures in order to sustain himself, and in 1938 was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists.
Returning to Jersey prior to the Second World War, Blampied remained on the island during its occupation, and struggled to gain commissions. However after the war, he remained in Jersey working mainly in oils and watercolours. Much of Blampied's oeuvre relates to Jersey, with scenes of horses and carts collecting seaweed his preferred subject. This conte drawing from the Gracefield collection retains the rural theme, while also displaying Blampied's familiarity with his subject, as the broad strokes show little hesitation.