Robert Sargent Austin (1895 - 1973) was a noted artist, illustrator, engraver and currency designer.
He was widely considered to be one of Britain's leading printmakers.
Austin studied at Leicester Municipal School of Art from 1909 to 1913, and then at the Royal College of Art in London where his studies were interrupted by the First World War
He returned to the College in 1919, where he studied etching under Sir Frank Short. In 1922, he won the Prix de Rome which enabled him to study at the British School at Rome, 1922-25.
He travelled throughout Italy and studied the prints of the Old Master. At this time - he abandoned etching and took up line engraving, which he thought was more suited to his artistic temperament. He mastered the technique with ease.
On his return to Britain in 1926, he was appointed to the post of Professor of Engraving at the Royal College of Art.
Austin acted as an advisor on the design of banknotes to the Bank of England between 1956 and 1961 and designed the ten shillings and one-pound notes issued in the early 1960s.
He remained devoted to art for its own sake and was uninterested in selling it or even receiving approval from others. Despite this fact, his pictures are now held in the collections of the Tate Gallery, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Fitzwilliam Museum, The British Museum and The Ashmolean Museum and a huge retrospective of his work was held at the latter in 1980.
This line engraving dates to 1924 and shows a man holding a large crucifix.
It is pencil signed and dated by the artist, lower right (as photographed).
Dimensions: 13.5 x 11.5 cm. Frame size is 38.5 x 29.5 cm
It is a fine impression, printed on a cream-coloured laid paper. It is from a small edition of only 40 impressions - and then the printing plate was subsequently destroyed.
This print was executed in pure etching - and this is a particularly unusual image for Austin. His brother-in-law (the sculptor James Woodford) posed for this image of a deeply religious Italian peasant. Austin thought a lot of this image and chose an impression of this print as his exhibition piece for the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engraver in 1925.
Perhaps not such a fashionable image today - but it is certainly beautifully rendered and shows exceptional draughtsmanship skills. This is reflected in my asking price.
An impression is in the collection of the British Museum.
It is sold framed with a new fresh mount - and in fine condition, ready for hanging for display.
UK Postage will be with Parcelforce24 - and this will cost £10 and be applied to your order at the checkout.