Sauter, Rudolf

(1895 – 1977)

Soldier (believed to be a self-portrait), 1939

SKU: 7876


Charcoal on light brown paper
Height: 76.8cm
Width: 55.9cm


The Artist’s Studio

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.317.

Sauter‚Äîa German-born artist, poet, cultural observer and nephew of the famed novelist John Galsworthy‚Äîwas interned at Alexandra Palace as an enemy alien’ during WW1, from March 1918 until August 1919. After the war, he became a naturalized British citizen, and during WWII he enlisted as a Local Army Welfare Officer in the Eastern Command, covering East Anglia and the Central Midland Counties. His duties across this region allowed him to continue painting. His resulting work, which focused on a variety of subjects symbolizing the realities and physical force of the nation at war, stood in stark contrast to the images of captivity he created during the previous war. Although he was never an official war artist, Rudolf documented Britain at war as accurately and meaningfully as the productions of these contemporaries. 

We are grateful to Jeffrey S. Reznick for allowing us to quote from his forthcoming book, War and Peace in the Worlds of Rudolf H. Sauter: A Cultural History of a Creative Life (Anthem Press, 2022). This is the first book to examine Sauter critically, revealing him out of the shadow of his famous uncle as a creative figure in his own right who produced an intriguing body of work, including the paintings shown here, other self-portraits, and many more artistic and literary works encompassing a variety of themes.

Liss Llewellyn are continually seeking to improve the quality of the information on their website. We actively undertake to post new and more accurate information on our stable of artists. We openly acknowledge the use of information from other sites including Wikipedia, and and other public domains. We are grateful for the use of this information and we openly invite any comments on how to improve the accuracy of what we have posted.


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.

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Rudolf Sauter
Searchlights along the Thames Estuary, October 1940
Rudolf Sauter
Bird’s-eye view over the Wing of an Aeroplane, circa 1945 (recto and verso)
Rudolf Sauter
After the raid, circa 1940