Ad Code: 3
from Auction House Records.
Figures in a summer landscape
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Leonard Richmond RBA, ROI, STISA (1889 – 1965) (1)|
Leonard Richmond (AKA: Leonard “Slim” Richmond) was a British painter, graphic artist, illustrator, poster designer, educator, author, art critic and a Canadian war artist.
He was born in Somerset county (south west England). When not traveling, he lived most of his life in London, England and its environs. He also lived in the St. Ives* artist’s colony, Cornwall on several occasions; most notably in 1932, 1935 and for three years from 1946 to 1949. (2)
His mediums were oil, watercolor, pastel*, graphite and lithography*. His subjects were landscapes, cityscapes, villages, mountains (Rockies, Alps), harbors, figures, portraits, holiday locations, still life, trains, ocean liners, sailboats and military railway construction during World War I. The painting locations are from his extensive travels across Canada, the United States, Britain and Europe. His styles are Plein Air* and Realism*. AskART have some good illustrations of his work. (3)
His art education included studies at the Taunton School of Art [now Somerset College], Taunton, Somerset; and South-Western Polytechnic Institute [later called Chelsea Polytechnic, now Chelsea College of Art and Design], London. (4)
His career as an educator includes giving lectures in Canada “from Montreal to Vancouver (1925 – 1926)” and in the USA “from New York to Chicago (1928 – 1929)”. He also briefly ran a school in St. Ives, Cornwall (1935). (5)
However, his primary contribution to art education must be his prolific series of art instruction books. The first was written over 90 years ago. They have all gone through multiple editions, revisions and slight title changes, but they are still being reprinted in the 21st Century. The titles include The Art of Painting in Pastel (1917), The Technique of Water-Colour Painting (1925), The Art of Landscape Painting (1927), The Technique of Oil Painting (1927), Essentials of Pictorial Design (1933), The Technique of the Poster (1933), Studies in Water Colour (1933), The Technique of Still Life Painting in Oil Colours (1936), The Technique of Colour Mixing (1949), From the Sketch to the Finished Picture: Water-Colour Painting (1953), Sketching Out of Doors (1954), Landscape Composition in Colour (1959), and Imaginative Techniques in Painting (1964). (6)
He is also the illustrator of Devon and Cornish Days (1932), by E.P. Leigh-Bennett and The Enchantment of Canada (c.1930), published by the Canadian Pacific Railway.
He was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists* (1914), Royal Institute of Oil Painters* (1919), and the St. Ives Society of Artists (1931). He also exhibited with the Royal Academy of Arts* almost every year from 1920 to 1955, the Paris Salon* in 1929 and 1947, and the Art Association of Montreal in 1925. (7)
Other venues for his exhibitions include the Fine Art Society, London; New English Art Club*, London; Ridley Art Club, England; Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Colours*; and the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts.
He also exhibited at Ehrich Galleries, New York, N.Y. (1921) and Goupil Gallery, London (1922).
His works were included in the “Panama-Pacific Exhibition”, San Francisco (1915); the “Chicago International Watercolor Exhibition”, Art Institute of Chicago (1928); and recently in “Canvas of War: Painting the Canadian Experience, 1914 – 1945” at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2001).
According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* there are Leonard Richmond works in the permanent collections of the Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina, Saskatchewan), Vancouver Art Gallery (B.C.), Vancouver Maritime Museum (B.C.), Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (Banff, Alberta), and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (Manitoba).
The Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, has probably the largest permanent public collection of Richmond works with 18 of his paintings, sketches and drawings. They document the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps in France during World War I. The Canadian Parliament Buildings, Ottawa probably has the longest continually exhibited Richmond painting in a public collection [and in what may be the most distinguished location]. The massive, 10 foot by 14 foot 10 inch oil titled “Railway Construction in France”, dated 1917, has been hanging in the Senate Chamber since 1921! It is one of only 8 paintings that adorn the Chamber walls; all depict Canadian activities in World War I. (8)
Examples of his posters promoting train travel, as well as various travel destinations in Britain and Europe, are in the London Transport Museum (England) and the National Railway Museum (London, England). (9)
His work for the Canadian Pacific as a graphic artist designing posters to advertise their trains, hotels and ocean liners, is illustrated and discussed in Posters of the Canadian Pacific (2004), by Marc H. Choko and David L. Jones; and his postcard designs are discussed in The Dictionary of Picture Postcards in Britain: 1894 – 1939 (1984), by A.W. Coysh.
His life in St. Ives is discussed in St. Ives, 1883 – 1993: Portrait of an Art Colony (1994), by Marion Whybrow; in Creating a Splash: the St. Ives Society of Artists: the First 25 Years, 1927 – 1952 (2003), by David Tovey; and in Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall, 1880 – 1940: A Dictionary and Source Book (2008), by Dr. Melissa Hardie.
His experiences in North America and work as an art critic are noted in “Art and Architecture in Canada” (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson; The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar; and Artists in California 1786 – 1940 (2002) by Edan Hughes (see AskART book references).
Richmond’s awards and honors include the William H. Tuthill Prize at the Chicago International Watercolour Exhibition (1928) and a Silver Medal at the Paris Salon (1947). (10)
(1) Most of the sources agree on the fundamental information about Leonard Richmond, with the exception of his birth year. All the British sources agree on 1889, on the other hand the North American sources have three additional dates. They are as follows:
1874 – The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references). This date if true would still make Richmond the youngest of the “Senate Chamber” artists.
1878 – Canvas of War: Painting the Canadian Experience, 1914 to 1945 (2001), by Dean F. Oliver and Laura Brandon; The War Paintings in the Senate Chamber (2002), by the Canadian War Museum; and Posters of the Canadian Pacific (2004), by Marc H. Choko and David L. Jones (see AskART book references).
1890 – Artists in California 1786 – 1940 (2002) by Edan Hughes (see AskART book references).
Benezit diplomatically stayed out of it by only giving a date of death – 1965 – which everyone agrees on.
Since references to his work and exhibitions don’t begin until 1912 any of the dates could work. However, it seems unlikely that an artist who consistently exhibited his high level of creative energy between 1912 and 1965 would have waited until he was 34 or 38 to do so, without there being some explanation for the late start. Consequently, the 1889 and 1890 dates seem more likely. Never-the-less 1889 is used without prejudice; perhaps someone will step forward with compelling evidence and convincingly set the record straight.
Note for further research: William Redworth (see AskART) was Richmond’s brother-in-law, having married Richmond’s sister (d.1971) in 1918. Apparently, Leonard and William first met at the “Chelsea School of Art”. Source: Slough History Online – http://www.sloughhistoryonline.org.uk/asset_arena/text/pdf/sl/sl/sl-sl-max_chapter14-d-02-000.pdf.
(2) Source: Cornwall Artists Index – http://www.wcaa.org.uk/cornwall-artists/leonard-richmond.
Note: Some of the towns in the London area listed as his homes are Brentford (1912), Southall (1914) and Guildford (1935). Source: Ibid.
Note: The “Cornwall Artists Index (CAI) is a project sponsored by the Hypatia Trust and the constituent organisations contributing to the West Cornwall Arts Archive. The WCAA is an umbrella group working together to collect and make available books, archival material, slides, auction catalogues, artists' archives, photographic collections (including scrap books) and other ephemera and documents relating to the arts and literature of West Cornwall from the 1880s to the present day… The aim is to list all artists to the present-day who have worked and exhibited in the art colonies of Cornwall – wherever in the county the artists' studios have been. General bibliographical references, and hopefully, in future, illustration for the individual artists, is welcomed.” Source: West Cornwall Arts Archive – http://www.wcaa.org.uk/cornwall-artists/cornwall-artists-establishment-and-purpose.
(3) Sources: AskART Images; and museum illustrations and descriptions of mediums in the Canadian Heritage Information Network* data base; National Railway Museum, London –http://www.nrm.org.uk/SearchResults.aspx?q=leonard+richmond&site=nrm&filter=0; and the London Transport Museum, England – http://www.ltmcollection.org/posters/artist/artist.html?IXartist=Leonard+Richmond.
(4) Sources: The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar; and the Cornwall Artists Index – http://www.wcaa.org.uk/cornwall-artists/leonard-richmond.
(5) Sources: Ibid.
Note: Quotes are from The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction.
(6) Source for Leonard Richmond authored books: Open Library – http://openlibrary.org/authors/OL1808491A/Leonard_Richmond.
Note: Revised editions often have modernized titles, for example: “Essentials of Landscape Composition” and “Sketching Outdoors” are a couple of the 2008 edition titles.
(7) Sources for all exhibitions: The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar; Canvas of War: Painting the Canadian Experience, 1914 to 1945 (2001), by Dean F. Oliver and Laura Brandon (see previous in AskART book references); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Cornwall Artists Index – http://www.wcaa.org.uk/cornwall-artists/leonard-richmond; and the New York Times, October 16, 1921 – http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60C13F73F5D14738DDDAF0994D8415B818EF1D3.
Note: The title page of the 1947 edition of The Art of Landscape Painting notes, among other things, that Richmond was an exhibitor at the Venice International; however no date is provided and no other source mentions it. Also, the Paris Salon exhibition date of 1929 was taken from the provenance noted in the auction catalogue for the painting Sand Dunes, Pas-de-Calais sold by William Doyle Galleries, New York on November 11, 2009 (see AskART illustrations), it is not from any of the biographical sources.
(8) Sources: The Canadian War Museum – http://collections.civilization.ca/public/pages/cmccpublic/emupublic/Query.php?lang=0; the Parliament of Canada – http://www2.parl.gc.ca/sites/lop/aboutparliament/warpaintings/richmond-e.asp; Canadian War Museum (size and details) – http://collections.civilization.ca/public/pages/cmccpublic/emupublic/Display.php?irn=1017149&QueryPage=%2Fpublic%2Fpages%2Fcmccpublic%2Femupublic%2FQuery.php&lang=0; and “The War Paintings in the Senate Chamber” (2002), by the Canadian War Museum (see AskART book references).
Note: The names of the six other artists with works in the Senate Chamber are: Edgar Bundy, Algernon Mayow Talmage, James Kerr-Lawson [2 paintings], Clare Atwood, Sir William Rothenstein and Sir George Clausen (see all in AskART).
Note: The British Government lists two Leonard Richmond oil paintings in its collection; one hangs in the British Embassy, Hanoi, Vietnam the other hangs in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, London. Source: British Government Art Collection – http://www.gac.culture.gov.uk/work.aspx?obj=11580.
(9) Sources: National Railway Museum, London – http://www.nrm.org.uk/SearchResults.aspx?q=leonard+richmond&site=nrm&filter=0; and the London Transport Museum – http://www.ltmcollection.org/posters/artist/artist.html?IXartist=Leonard+Richmond
(10) Source: Art Institute of Chicago exhibition catalogue – http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/pubs/1928/AIC1928IntWtrclr8thAn_comb.pdf; and Louise Kosman, Edinburgh – http://www.louisekosman.com/artists/artist_282.php.
Note: The 1928 William H. Tuthill Purchase Prize of $100.00 for “a meritorious work in pure watercolor” was awarded for the painting titled “Old Houses, Verona”; unfortunately a copy of the 1947 Paris Salon catalogue could not be located.
* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx.
Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|