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The Letter

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1937-38 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Rachel Austin and Clare Calder

  • Museum number:

    E.534-2007

  • 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 'The Letter' depicting a woman of young to middle age, seated at the foot of a wooden staircase in a house, delicately holding the corners of a blank white folded letter or envelope. In the foreground is a vase with large pale flowers, and a candle almost burned to the end.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)

Date

1937-38 (made)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Engraving

Marks and inscriptions

RSA
Signed in plate

3rd state 2 proofs 11 Dec 1937
Production details and date; all in pencil.

Dimensions

Height: 28.5 cm sheet, Width: 23 cm sheet

Descriptive line

Engraving by Robert Austin entitled 'The Letter'. Great Britain, 1937-8.

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Engraving

Subjects depicted

Woman; Correspondence; Flowers; Stairs; Letters; Candlestick

Categories

Prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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