Ernest Stephen Lumsden

1883 - 1948

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Ernest Stephen Lumsden was a Scot by descent and adoption, though not by birth, and he made Edinburgh his home town, teaching at Edinburgh College of Art from 1908 until 1912. Long before he began his extensive travels to India and beyond, E.S.Lumsden had established himself as one of the rising stars of the Etching Revival through highly accomplished works of his local Scottish landscape.

E.S.Lumsden was an outstanding technician at both etching and printing his plates. He passed much of his knowledge of these techniques on to the rest of the world through his highly influential book The Art of Etching, first published in 1925.

After his first world trip, E.S.Lumsden had returned to Edinburgh by early 1911 to resign from his position at Edinburgh College of Art. Freed from his teaching responsibilities, he departed for Burma in January 1912 and then travelled via Calcutta to the Holy City of Benares in India. Here, in India, E.S.Lumsden was to find his most constant source of inspiration for his etched works. He journeyed on through Jaipur and Udaipur before returning to Edinburgh later that year. The product of this extensive Indian journey was to be an outstanding group of Indian etchings which resulted in E.S.Lumsden's exceptionally successful series of shows between the years 1912-13.

In November 1913 Ernest Stephen Lumsden married Mabel Royds and from then on the couple travelled together on the extensive trips which were to provide the material for both artists’ original prints.

Of all of the British etchers to depict the orient, Ernest Stephen Lumsden was the most prolific. One of the most widely travelled etchers of his generation, E.S.Lumsden produced 348 recorded plates.