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Anniversary art – a series of six engravings by Anne Desmet RA

Wood block engraved with a representation of Lincoln's Inn Undercroft, next to chisels and art tools
The wooden block of the Undercroft engraving by Anne Desmet RA next to her artist's tools

Think of the history of Lincoln’s Inn and the chances are that, sooner or later, you will think of its building.  What better way, therefore, to commemorate the Inn’s 600th anniversary than a celebration of the Inn’s architecture?  The challenge is how to capture the essence of the Inn from a large number of buildings, spanning six centuries and a wide array of architectural styles.

This was the challenge we presented to Anne Desmet RA when we asked her if she would be interested in producing such a series of engravings.   Anne has more than risen to the challenge, creating six engravings focussing on six doorways and their surrounds from across the Inn. The selection begins with the ‘prehistory’ of the Inn and the Bishop Chichester’s palace.  It ends with the new entrance to the Ashworth Centre, by way of the Chapel Undercroft, Wildy’s archway and its attendant Baroque scrolls and curls, a whimsical juxtaposition of buildings and archways in the north-east corner of Stone Buildings and late Victorian Gothic from Old Square.

The prints

A limited edition set of prints from the engravings are available to purchase now at the Inn’s online shop – there you will find details on price, sizing etc. as well as an image of each of the prints. They are being sold in complete sets of six, and there are forty sets available.

A framed set of the prints can be viewed in the Lincoln’s Inn Reception. 

Anne Desmet print - The Undercroft
Preview of the Chapel Undercroft print from Anne Desmet's engraving

About the artist

Anne Desmet RA is one of the country’s foremost wood engravers.   A Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and the Society of Wood Engravers, Anne is also only the third wood engraver to be elected a member of the Royal Academy.

Anne has exhibited widely and has been commissioned by many distinguished clients including the V&A, the British Library, the British Museum, Oxford colleges and the National Gallery.  Her work is included in many galleries in the UK, Europe and America.  Anne has experimented with many different media and subjects but a fascination with architecture is a feature of much of her work.  Characteristic of all Anne’s work is a meticulous attention to detail, a fascination with form and structure and a keenness to push the boundaries of wood engraving as an artistic medium.   She was the obvious choice for this commission.  Further details of Anne’s career and many examples of her artwork can be seen on her website at   Her exhibition ‘Kaleidoscope’ is at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester until 5 February 2023.