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"Messengers of the Sea" by Donald Witherstine, Amer., (1896-1961)
Woodcut, ca. 1940, Ed. 100, 9-11/16 x 9-5/8, signed & titled in pencil, on fiberous cream wove japan paper. With his strong contrasts of black and white, Witherstine's style has certain graphic affinities with the woodcuts of Felix Vallotton during La Belle Epoch in France, though the content of their work was markedly different. Witherstine often employed value reversals of and dark against light as seen with the flock of gulls in the foreground. It is interesting that Witherstine resisted the temptation of exploring color, so often a focus of the white line color woodcuts associated with Provincetown.