The Shepherds

Jean Royle created this original Christmas card design in the 1980s. This version of ‘The Shepherds’ lino print  has been printed on tissue paper. It measures 5½” x 3¾” and is a complex composition in which Jean makes maximum use of silhouetted figures in much the same way as Toulouse-Lautrec employed in his lithographic posters of the 1890s. The winding road creates depth and mystery. The setting is in the Western world as shown by the landscape and one shepherd wearing a trilby. Almost inevitably she uses a tree: this creates a perpendicular balance to the composition and contains the sense of movement created by the travelling figures. The preliminary pencil sketch shown below using three figures in middle eastern dress lacks impact by comparison.