Ben Uri collection

Christ on the Cross

Artist information

Name Arnold Auerbach (1898-1978)

Born Liverpool, England

Died London, England

Find more work in the collection by this artist

Sculptor, painter and etcher Arnold Auerbach was born in Liverpool in 1898 and trained at the Liverpool School of Art, as well as in Paris and in Switzerland. He exhibited reguarly at the Royal Academy, Goupil Gallery, London, and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. During the Second World War Auerbach took up his first teaching post, at Beckenham School of Art and afterwards joined the staff of the Regent Street Polytechnic, initially in the School of Architecture and later in the School of Art where he taught still life and portrait painting, then moved to Chelsea School of Art, until his retirement in 1964. Afterwards he continued to teach at the Stanhope Institute until 1968. Auerbach published a number of books on sculpture and his commissions included stylized panels for the Davis Theatre cinema in Croydon in 1928. In 1944 Auerbach showed two drawings in the Ben Uri Summer exhibition. Ill health forced him to give up sculpture in the mid-1950s for painting.

Object Details

Date c. 1920 (restrike 1999)

Object type mixed media

Medium zinc etching plate

Unframed 30.5 x 19 cm

Acquisition Presented by Drew Wilson 2018

Accession number 2018-09i

Display status not on display

During the 1920s Auerbach was commissioned as an architectural sculptor to decorate the interiors of a number of Art Deco buildings including the News Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue (destroyed during the Second World War) and a series of reliefs for the Nawab of Rampur’s palace in India in 1927. His admiration of Ancient Egyptian sculpture was also reflected in the simplicity and monumentality of his forms.

He took up etching in the early 1920s during a noted boom in this practice and continued to produce plates intermittently throughout this decade into the early 1930s. The images often relate to his drawings, paintings or sculpture and include London and Liverpool street scenes and studies of heads and figures. The earliest plates are tonal and often in drypoint, worked directly into the plate without the use of ground or acid. The stylised, slender figure of his Christ is reminiscent of the work of Eric Gill, who carved over 50 crucifixions in the course of his career.

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Related works

Christ on the Cross
by Arnold Auerbach