Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Belfry Steps

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1936 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Austin, Robert Sargent, born 1895 - died 1973 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Rachel Austin and Clare Calder

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case EL, shelf 81

Robert Sargent Austin, R.A. (1895-1973) was a printmaker, draughtsman, book illustrator and watercolorist, as well as a designer of posters. Born in Leicester, where he attended the School of Art 1909-13; he went on to study and later to teach at the Royal College of Art. He was also an official war artist in World War II. He was highly skilled draughtsman best known for his exquisite etchings and engravings, mostly of animals, birds and plants, domestic scenes, figure subjects (often religious), and also landscapes.

This is one from a gift of 50 prints - mostly etchings - which cover the whole range of Austin's subject matter. Many of the prints are annotated by Austin himself, and several are proofs, or early states. The prints are works of art in their own right, but also offer valuable evidence of Austin's working methods, and the practice of etching and engraving as a fine art practice in the 1920s and 1930s.

Physical description

Engraving entitled 'Belfry Steps' depicting an elderly figure climbing a narrow, spiral, stone staircase. They are wearing a heavy overcoat with a fur lining, and carry a large bunch of keys around their neck. A rope dangles from the timber casement on the right.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


1936 (made)


Austin, Robert Sargent, born 1895 - died 1973 (artist)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Signed in plate

5th state 3 proofs New stipple on shoes, on steps shine on beam at top 25 AP 1936
Production details and date; all in pencil.


Height: 28.4 cm sheet, Width: 22.5 cm sheet

Descriptive line

Engraving by Robert Austin entitled 'Belfry Steps'. Great Britain, 1936.





Subjects depicted

Steps; Overcoat; Keys; Stairs; Rope; Fur; Belfries




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.