Ernest Stephen Lumsden Biography

Ernest Stephen Lumsden




Ernest Stephen Lumsden was born in London, England on December 22, 1883.

Lumsden studied at University College, London, then called the  Reading Art School from 1889 under Frank Morley Fletcher and briefly at the Académie Julian in Paris in 1903. In 1908 he accepted an appointment at the Edinburgh College of Art, where he taught for a few years. As an etcher he was mostly self taught, using the book on etching by French printmaker Maxime Lalanne as his guide. In 1906 six of his etchings were exhibited at the Society of Painters and Gravers and the following year two more were shown at the Salon in Paris. By 1908 he had settled in Edinburgh, where he took up a position at the Edinburgh College of Art, but his wanderlust led him the following year to British Columbia in Canada.

In 1913 he married printmaker Mabel Royds, who is noted for her color woodcuts.Ernest and Mabel traveled several times to India between 1912 and 1927 and he is noted for his prints of Benares on the River Ganges. Between 1905 and 1946 E.S. Lumsden produced some 350 etchings most of which are represented in a collection held in the Burnaby Art Gallery, British Columbia, Canada. Lumsden always printed his own plates.

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.

Having moved to Sir Henry Raeburn’s old studio in Edinburgh’s Queen Street in 1927, he worked primarily as a portrait painter, and became curator of the Royal Scottish Academy library in 1935. In November 1935 he showed a number of paintings, including seascapes and other Berwickshire views, as part of an exhibition of the work of a group of eight artists at the New Gallery in Edinburgh. Crippled by arthritis in his later years, Lumsden produced relatively little work in the 1940s. In 1925 the publishers Seeley Service issued what is still regarded as the seminal treatise on the subject of etching, called The Art of Etching. In the book Lumsden 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. The first edition of The Art of Etching contained four original etchings by Lumsden.Ernest Stephen Lumsden died in Edinburgh, Scotland on September 29, 1948.

Drawn from Wikipedia, Ongepin Fine Art and other sources.