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Robert Sargent Austin

1895 – 1973

The Angelus by Robert Sargent Austin

The Angelus   1922

  Original etching.
Signed three times in the plate; signed, dated and inscribed in pencil.
Ref: Campbell Dodgson 34
S 230 x 295 mm; P 161 x 227 mm; I 158 x 224 mm
Original R.S. Austin etching.

Outstanding early proof impression of this exceptionally rare unpublished plate. A particularly fine example with crisp clarity of line, inscribed in pencil by the artist ““The Angelus” – 4th State- Robert.A. – 1924”.

Arguably the most elaborate and certainly one of the most sought-after of all of Robert Sargent Austin’s early works, The Angelus combines all of the principal elements found throughout R.S. Austin’s other early works: the weary working horse, the plough, an elaborate village landscape, and figure studies of those in prayer, all dominated by the church and an air of deep religious import. Indeed, the peasants depicted have stopped in the midst of their daily labours at the time appointed for the prayer of The Angelus to be said. Although Dodgson, when writing in 1930, suggested that this work might have been over ambitious for the young etcher, in many ways, this most elaborate composition represents the summation of Robert Sargent Austin’s early powers as a printmaker.

Dodgson notes that the finished state is described on some proofs as the fourth and records that few early impressions were printed, the plate remaining unpublished. Fifteen impressions were printed in 1930; however, this is one of the rare early proofs printed by R.S. Austin himself in 1922-4.

On pale cream laid paper with full margins and deckle edge. A few isolated foxing spots, otherwise very fine original condition.