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The Horse of Ostend, 1921
Unmounted (ref: 3035)
Engraving, printed from the cancelled plate
Plate size: 6 x 7 1/2 in. (15 x 19.2 cm.),
Paper size: 9 5/8 x 11 in. (24.5 x 28 cm.)
Austin Served in the Royal Garrison Artillery as a gunner.
He had been at the Royal College for a brief spell before the outbreak of the war.
After the First World War, where he served as a gunner, Austin recommenced his studies at the RCA and received his diploma in 1921. He then set off travelling with his student friend and lodger Norman Tennant who later recalled:
In the long vacation of 1921, we decided to take our cycles over to France and travel down the old battle line to renew our acquaintance with the places where we had been during the War. We landed at Ostend and it was here that he made the sketch “The Horse of Ostend”, with its background of quayside houses.
We cycled westwards to Nieuport, where was where the old trench system reached the coast ….
A short distance to the South lay Ypres, which was slowly beginning to emerge from the devestation caused by 4 years of constant shelling. Here we made a number of drawings and water-colours under the critical eye of a group of small boys.
Robert Austin and Norman Tennant, A Record of Friendship, The Kylin Press 1982