Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)

Portrait of Arthur William Symons (British poet, critic and translator), 1935


SKU: 7883
Signed and dated
Charcoal on paper
Three small tears on the right

Height – 62cm x Width – 49cm

1 in stock


The Artist’s Studio

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.136.

Arthur William Symons 1865‚Äì1945 was a British poet, critic, and translator.

This drawing is a study for the portrait by Sauter in the National Portrait Gallery:

Arthur William Symons, by Rudolf Helmut Sauter, 1935 – NPG 4172

Arthur Symons was born in Wales and educated by private tutors. At 16, Symons moved to London, where he joined a vibrant literary community and participated, alongside poets like William Butler Yeats, in the notorious Rhymers’ Club, a group of poets and writers responsible for witty repartee anthologies such as The Book of the Rhymers’ Club (1892), in which Symons’s poems appeared.

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Symons’s formal poetry explores romantic love, loss, and the passage of time.

Selections from four of Symons’s early collections of poetry‚ÄîSilhouettes (1892), London Nights (1896), Amoris Victima (1897), and Images of Good and Evil (1899)‚Äîwere later collected in his two-volume Poems (1902). His seminal guide The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899) introduced English readers to the Symbolist movement, which Symons described as ‚Äúan attempt to spiritualise literature.‚Äù Symons also translated the work of French and Italian poets Paul Verlaine, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Gabriele D’Annunzio into English, as well as publishing the critical studies An Introduction to the Study of Browning (1886) and The Romantic Movement in English Poetry (1909). 

Symons’s literary career was cut short by a devastating mental breakdown in 1908. Little of his writing after that point has been published, save his volume Confessions: A Study in Pathology (1930).

Posthumously published papers include The Memoirs of Arthur Symons: Life and Art in the 1890s (1977) and Arthur Symons: Selected Letters 1880–1935 (1989). He died in Kent, England. Selections of his papers are held at the Princeton University Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.

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Rudolf Sauter
1895 - 1977

Painter, printmaker, illustrator and poet. Father was Georg Sauter, an artist from Bavaria. During WW1 Rudolph was interned at Alexandra Palace, (from 1918-19), on account of the fact that his father Georg (who had already been interned in Prison in Wakefield in 1919) was German by birth. His mother was Lilian Galsworthy, daughter of John Galsworthy, the novelist and creator of The Forsyte Saga. Rudolph developed strong literary interests and illustrated John Galsworthy’s works. He painted a portrait of Galsworthy in 1927. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and the Pastel Society. When his work was shown at the Salon in Paris, he was awarded an Honourable Mention. His work was shown widely in the provinces and in America. He had one-man shows in London and New York.

His work is held by the National Portrait Gallery, the RWA and the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull. Much of his work was destroyed by a fire in the 1980s. There is a significant collection in private hands in South Africa. Although mostly a figurative painter, late in life he did a series of pastel abstracts. He celebrated his eightieth birthday with a glider flight. He lived at FORT WILLIAM, Butterow, near Stroud, Gloucestershire.

With thanks to


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