Mabel Oliver Rae (1868 – 1956)

The Bridge of Sighs, St John’s College, Cambridge (circa 1920)



13 x 18 cm

Hand-signed in pencil lower left, and titled in pencil lower right. Initialled ‘MR’ in plate lower left.

The Bridge of Sighs is an iconic feature of St John’s College, and one of the most recognisable pieces of architecture in Cambridge. It was built in 1831 by the architect Henry Hutchinson and crosses the River Cam between the college’s Third Court and New Court. It is the only covered bridge to cross the River Cam, and the only College bridge built in the Victorian Gothic style.

Mabel Oliver Rae was born in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, and trained at the Slade School of Fine Art between 1888 and 1890. Rae is known for her skilled etchings of various rural scenes and townscapes, particularly those of the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge. She signed works with the pseudonym ‘M.Oliver Rae’, a ruse to conceal the fact she was a female artist, so as not to reduce her chances with commercial dealers and agents.

Condition: even age toning, a little spotting, generally good.

If you’d like to know more, please email or call us on 07929 749056.