Man with a Cross, 1924
Mounted (ref: 5679)
The original etching plate, cancelled
together with a posthumously printed etching from the plate
133 x 128 cm
Man with a Cross. 1924. Dodgson 46.iv. was issued in an edition of 40. 5 3/16 x 5
As Rome Scholar in Engraving, (1922) Austin produced some of the most enduring images of Italian peasants, sharing with D.H. Lawrence an admiration for a culture ‘so primitive, so pagan, so strangely heathen, and half-savage’ (D. H. Lawrence, Sea and Sardinia, f1921).
Man with a Cross is described in Modern Masters of Etching as follows:
Yet beyond the technique, there i spiritual expression. But in pure, full-toned etching he began to interpret compassionately the gaunt, primitive peasant, who returns from his labours to the solace of the Cross, austere plates these, Man and Crucificion and Man and Cross, but beautifully expressive in their essentai simplicity of design" (Salaman Modern Masters of Etching: Robert Austin, p. 5).
Robert Austin (1895-1973)
Printmaker and draughtsman, born in Leicester. He studied at the School of Art there and at the Royal College of Art, 1914-16 and 1919-22, winning the Rome Scholarship for engraving in the latter year. He taught engraving at the Royal College of Art, 1927-44, becoming Professor in the Department of Graphic Design, 1948-55. Showed with RWS, of which he was a member and President; RE, of which he was a member; and the RA, to which he was elected in 1949. Austin was a meticulous craftsman-engraver and a vigorous draughtsman, as his series of drawings of Women's Auxiliary Air Force and ballooning activities done during World War II shows. The Tate Gallery holds his work.
The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, organised an exhibition of his work in 1980.
More recently he was the subject of two shows at the Fine Art Society plc (2001 and 2002), the latter organised in conjunction with Liss Fine Art Ltd.
See all works by Robert Austin