Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)

'Not to be Removed', circa 1940

SKU: 9869
15 1/4 x 22 3/4 in. (39 x 58 cm)

Height – 39cm
Width – 58cm


Private collection

This watercolour shows defences along the south coast during the Second World War – where invasion from
the sea was a constant fear. These defences include barbed wire entanglements and dragon’s teeth, used to
impede the movement of tanks. The white trail left behind by an aerial dog-fight hangs in the sky. 

During the War, Rudolf Sauter was an Army Welfare Officer under the South Eastern Command. Although
he was never an Official War Artist, he did witness a number of significant events – such as spud piers being
prepared for the Normandy landings – which informed his work. This watercolour shares some resemblance
with Eric Ravilious’ Coastal Defences at Newhaven, 1941, in the collection of the Birmingham Museum &
Art Gallery. 

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Sauter, Rudolf

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)
The Sea of Corn
Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Searchlights along the Thames Estuary, October 1940
Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
‘Not to be Removed’, circa 1940
Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Fireworks over harbour
Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Bird’s-eye view over the Wing of an Aeroplane, circa 1945 (recto and verso)
Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
After the raid, circa 1940
Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Soldier (believed to be a self-portrait), 1939
Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Soldier Holding a Gas Mask (believed to be a self-portrait), 1939
Rudolf Sauter (1895 - 1977)
Phantom Eyre, 1944