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Jodhpur, result 1 of 1

Item Details
Open Artstor
Available to everyone
Work Type
prints, etchings, works on paper
support: 448mm (width), 323mm (height), plate: 380mm (width), 277mm (height)

Ernest Stephen Lumsden (1883-1948) was a distinguished painter, noted etcher and authority on etching. He studied at Reading Art School under Frank Morley Fletcher and briefly at the Academie Julian in Paris in 1903. In 1908 he accepted an appointment at the Edinburgh College of Art, where he taught for a few years and remained based there for the rest of his life. He travelled several times to India between 1912 and 1927 and is noted for his prints of Benares on the River Ganges. Between 1905 and 1946 Lumsden produced some 350 etchings and always printed his own plates; more than a third of them (approximately 125) are of Indian imagery.

Lumsden was elected an associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers in 1909 and raised to the full membership in 1915. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1923 and a full member in 1933; and he was President of the Society of Artist Printers from 1929 to 1947.

In 1925 the publishers Seeley Service issued what is still regarded as the seminal treatise on the subject of etching authored by Lumsden, called The Art of Etching. In the book he describes the various techniques of intaglio printing using etching, drypoint, mezzotint and aquatint; he describes the history and development of etching through Rembrandt, Goya and the etching revival; and he reproduced personal, illustrated notes from several eminent etchers of the period on their techniques, including Muirhead Bone, D.Y. Cameron and James McBey.

In his Indian etchings, Lumsden seems to resist much of his predecessors' impulses to romanticise and exoticise. While undeniably enchanted by the country, he nonetheless offers a relatively sober vision, one that suggests an easy, contented interaction with its places and peoples. Lumsden's technical virtuosity includes an economy of line, carefully built compositions, and, above all, a command of India's intense light.

Jodhpur nonetheless is a highly successful, meticulously finished, exercise in the sublime, depicting the Mehrangarh Fort on its 125 m. rocky eminence. Mehrangarh is one of the largest forts in India as one of the most spectacularly sited, and dates from 1460. The city of Jodhpur is visible on the right of the etching. This was the locale of a good example of Lumsden's Indian 'genre' prints, a bazaar scene, The scales (1952-0003-24). The etching dates from Lumsden's fourth and final visit to India, and no lessening of his technical or visionary powers is evident.


VMFA, 'Light and Line: E. S. Lumsden's Visions of India',

Wikipedia, 'Ernest Stephen Lumsden',

Dr Mark Stocker Curator, Historical International Art June 2018


Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 'Light and Line: E. S. Lumsden's Visions of India',

Wikipedia, 'Ernest Stephen Lumsden',

Dr Mark Stocker Curator, Historical International Art June 2018

Collection: Art
Gift of Sir John Ilott, 1971
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Image and original data provided by Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa
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