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Sir William Rothenstein

1872 – 1945

Portrait of Sir Frank Short by William Rothenstein

Portrait of Sir Frank Short   1921

  Original lithograph.
Signed and inscribed by William Rothenstein in pencil.
S 297 x 222 mm; I 175 x 165 mm
Very fine signed presentation proof, inscribed in pencil by the artist “To my friend & colleague Miss Pott, gratefully, W. Rothenstein. July 1924” and signed “W. Rothenstein 1921” at the lower corner of the sheet.

This striking portrait shows Sir Frank Short at the age of 64 when he was head of the Engraving School at the Royal College of Art. The printed dedication in the image reads “To my friend & colleague Sir Frank Short: homage from W. Rothenstein May 1921”. This particular proof was presented by Rothenstein to Constance Mary Pott (b.1862) who was the principal teacher of etching and printmaking techniques in Sir Frank Short’s department at the Royal College of Art. As a full member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers, Constance Pott was a well respected printmaker in her own right, exhibiting regularly in the main London shows between 1893 and 1929.

The famous painter and writer on art, Sir William Rothenstein became established as a portrait painter soon after his training at the Slade in the late 1880’s. Rothenstein had made many original lithographs during the 1890’s but largely abandoned the medium by late 1900, devoting his time instead to the far more lucrative art of painting. This portrait of Sir Frank Short is a rare instance of his return to lithography.

Provenance: Collection of the artist and printmaker Robert Sargent Austin, thence by descent to Rachel Austin, one of the artist’s two daughters.

On pale cream laid paper with full margins and deckle edge. Very good condition.