highlights international perspective

Mabel A. Royds, (English, 1874-1941)


Color woodblock print. Signed in red pencil at lower left, M. A. Royds. Self-carved and self-printed by the artist, from an edition of fewer than 100, ca. 1920-30's.

21.7 by 26.4 cm

Although Royds may have had the opportunity to learn about Japanese-style carving and printing from Fletcher, it seems clear that she did not feel compelled to adhere closely to his lead either technically or stylistically. While Morley Fletcher's work is refined, and delicate, Royds is much more expressive, perhaps even impatient. She was known to have used inexpensive 'sixpenny' breadboards instead of the more traditional cherry or pear wood for her blocks. This apparent irreverence for the precision usually associated with traditional woodblock printmaking would have resonated with some of her artistic contemporaries in Japan who were in the midst of the sôsaku-hanga ('creative print') movement, where the emphasis was on the process of creation as opposed to the process of replication. The vitality, urgency, and near abstraction of her compositions sets her apart from other woodblock printmakers in Britain at the time.

Garton & Cooke, London, Catalogue Twenty-Eight, 1984, MB (Marjorie Barton, daughter of the artist) no. 46
Chazen Museum of Art, Color Woodcut International, 2006, p. 70, no. 14


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site last updated
September 22, 2020

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475