Augustus Edwin John

Augustus Edwin John OM RA (British, 1879-1961)

Augustus Edwin John was one of the greatest British draughtsmen well-known for his firm yet supple line. John’s activity as an etcher belongs to the Liverpool period and the majority of them were executed between 1901 and 1910. He took up etching at the suggestion of a friend and was immensely enthusiastic towards the medium. His earliest examples from 1901 were self-portrait studies and several portraits of his wife Ida. His technique was loosely modelled on that of Rembrandt and many were keen to point out the similarity. Much of their value lies in the fact that many of his subjects were highly elusive and shy, often tramps, gypsies, and coster-girls, giving the air of being rather reluctant sitters.

Four exquisite little compositions by Augustus John from 1906, prepared for the first exhibition of John’s etchings held in May 1906 at the Chenil Gallery, London. All printed on white paper, with full margins and deckled edges, bearing notes of the titles, numbers and publisher’s number to the lower margins, in fresh condition, within gilt frames.

References: Campbell Dodgson, A Catalogue of the etchings of Augustus John 1901-1914, 1920. Nos 44, 78, 117 and 95.