Sidney Mackenzie Litten Biography

Sidney Mackenzie Litten




Little definitive information can be found about British etcher and engraver Sydney Mackenzie Litten, who was born in England in 1887. Litten studied art at St. Martin's School of Art and etching at the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCA) under Frank Short. He was the Senior Master of St. Martin's School of Art in London.

He exhibited at the Royal Academy (RA) and the New English Art Club (NEAC). He did the majority of his work in Spain and Italy. 51 of his prints are recorded in the annual Fine Prints of the Year starting in 1926 and ending in 1935. Like Whistler and McBey he did his etchings in series such as his Thames images and two Venice Sets of four prints each, done in 1928. Venice was the subject for fifteen etchings, exhibited until 1935, at which time Litten appears to have quit etching (see below). Sydney Litten was the father of the artist Maurice Sydney Litten (1919-1979).

Sydney Mackenzie Litten died in London in 1934, though many sources say 1949. A “Sydney Litton”, also born in 1887 is listed as having died in 1949. There is not yet a raisonné of Litten’s work.