The Angel of Saint Matthew, Orvieto, 1924
Unmounted (ref: 5698)
Signed, dated and lettered in Latin on plate
The original copper etching plate, cancelled
117 x 101 mm.
Provenance: the artists family
Literature: Campbell Dodgson, Robert Austin, exh. cat.,Twenty-One Gallery, London, 1930; Gordon Cooke, Drawings and Prints by Robert Austin, exh. cat.,The Fine Art Society, London, 2001
Austin was one of the greatest exponents of line engraving of his century. Campbell Dodgson, Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, who compiled the standard reference work on Austin, compared him to Albrecht Dürer, noting that Austin had more than a touch of that master in him (Dodgson, Robert Austin, exh. cat.,Twenty-One Gallery, London, 1930).
Matthew he Evangelist, by Lorenzo Maitani, (c1275-1330) is a bronze statue which appears on the left pier of the façade of Orvieto Cathedral.
A copy of this Austin print is in the collection of The British Museum (accession number 1927,0709.92).
We are grateful to Rachel and Clare Austin, Gordon Cooke and David Maes for assistance.
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