Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)

Searchlights along the Thames Estuary, October 1940


SKU: 9880

Gouache and pastel

23 1/2 x 15 (59.5 x 38 cm)


Height – 59.5cm x Width – 38cm

1 in stock


The Artist’s Studio

Search lights relates in both time and subject to a body of work Sauter made in October 1940 aircraft contrails during the Battle of Britain.  Four of these are in the collection of RAF Hendon.

 During World War II, Rudolf Sauter was an Army Welfare Officer under South Eastern Command. Although he was never an Official War Artist, the events he witnessed informed his work. Sauter produced imaginative compositions with prophetic titles inspired by events he had observed; but he was disinterested in attempting to portray a faithful account.

A number of Rudolf Sauter’s drawings are in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

We are grateful to Jeffrey Reznick for assistance.

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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


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Searchlights along the Thames Estuary, October 1940


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
WW2 -Three Spud piers being prepared for the D-Day Normandy Landings, circa 1944.


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Two Spud piers being prepared for the D-Day Normandy Landings, circa 1944.


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
The Retreat Pub Ledbury, 1950’s


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
View from an aeroplane, over snow-capped Sierras, 1959


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Landscape around Stroud


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Spud piers with dazzle camouflage being prepared for the D-Day Normandy Landings


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Bird’s-eye view over the Wing of an Aeroplane, circa 1945 (recto and verso)


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Quarry processing plant


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Around the Malvern Hills


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
The artist’s wife Viola with a parasol, circa 1920


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Portrait of Arthur William Symons (British poet, critic and translator), 1935


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Four masted Barque


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Lilian Sauter Galsworthy, the artist’s mother, 1923


Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
The artist’s wife Viola, 1924