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The Reader: P.3037-R

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Reader
The Reverend Nathaniel Royds M.A


Printmaker: Lumsden, Ernest Stephen




A portrait of the artist's elderly father-in-law, half-length, seated, in profile facing left. He holds an open book in his hands.
The print was published as Plate 21 in Lumsden's, The Art of Etching (1924) where it is used to illustrate drypoint 'done direct from life' and is described by Lumsden as having been executed 'direct on the copper in artificial light'.
This impression is the first trial proof and was given to the Museum along with the cancelled plate and other prints at the suggestion of Sydney Cockerell. In a letter sent to Cockerell dated 29.ix.20, Lumsden describes the trial proof of The Reader as 'a remarkably / rich one though hardly as like as / some of the later'.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1920-09) by Lumsden, Ernest Stephen


Production date: AD 1920


First trial proof. See also cancelled plate, P.15144-R.

School or Style


Materials used in production

Black carbon ink

Components of the work

Support composed of paper
Plate Height 150 mm Width 212 mm
Sheet Height 238 mm Width 281 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: In event of / remounting please / do not cut the / mount so as to / include the writing / at the foot / ESL
  • Location: Lower left margin
  • Method of creation: Brown ink
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: IT. 40
  • Location: Lower left
  • Method of creation: Brown ink
  • Type: Number
  • Text: Lumsden imp
  • Location: Lower centre
  • Method of creation: Brown ink
  • Type: Signature
  • Text: ESL to FW.M,C.
  • Location: Lower right
  • Method of creation: Brown ink
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: "The Reader"
  • Location: Lower left
  • Method of creation: Brown ink
  • Type: Title
  • Text: My father-in-law - Revd Nathaniel Royds M.A. / Trinity College Cambridge / Late Rector of Little Barford, Beds:
  • Location: Lower centre
  • Method of creation: Brown ink
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: Actual 1st proof (Trial). To the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge / September 1920. / In remembrance of many delightful hours among the Rembrandts
  • Location: Lower right
  • Method of creation: Brown ink
  • Type: Dedication

Identification numbers

Accession number: P.3037-R
Primary reference Number: 81322
Lumsden: 195
Lumsden (1924): Plate 21
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 2 March 2023 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "The Reader" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-05 03:35:54

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Reader |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-05 03:35:54|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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