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Richard Redgrave RA (1804 – 1889)
Richard Redgrave studied engraving* in his father’s offices on
Buckingham Palace Road. Frequent journeys on the outskirts of London
gave him a love of the outdoors and a habit of sketching from
nature. He also made careful studies of the Elgin Marbles*.
He decided to become a painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy* 
from 1825, and entering the Royal Academy Schools from 1826, supporting
himself by teaching.
His early years as an artist were difficult ones, until in 1837 he exhibited Gulliver on the Farmer’s Table, which brought him to the attention of a wide audience by engravings. The Seamstress
(1844) - showing a girl working late at night in her horrible bedsit -
was also very popular. With paintings like this Redgrave became
known for scenes of contemporary social life, and one of the first to use contemporary clothing in pictures (e.g. The Poor Teacher
(1843) anticipating the fallen women of the Pre-Raphaelites  in the
1850s and 1860s. Redgrave also preceded the other painters who
became well known for pictures of poverty - Hubert von Herkomer, Frank
Holl and Luke Fildes .
Redgrave painted several pictures showing girls with a Pre-Raphaelite
look, indoors or outside, and also rustic outdoor scenes and flower
illustrations (in the 1840s). He designed some book
illustrations, but these were sentimental and not of great merit.
He was elected ARA in 1840 and RA in 1851, his diploma work being The Outcast, a rather histrionic expulsion of a daughter with illegitimate baby while her family weep and wail.
Redgrave was important in the organization of the Government School of
Design, established in 1847, and held several posts at the institution,
in particular Art Superintendent in the Department of Practical Art
(1852), in which capacity he largely organized the English system of
art education. In 1857 he became Inspector General of Art and
Surveyor of the Royal Collections. He catalogued the 1862 International
Exhibition, and subsequently wrote A Century of Painters
of the English School. He also helped in the organization of
the South Kensington Museum. From 1825 until 1880, when ill-health
forced him to resign from most of his official appointments, Redgrave
contributed some 175 pictures to the Royal Academy exhibitions.
Several of Redgrave's pictures are in the Sheepshanks Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, including Gulliver on the Farmer’s Table, Ophelia wearing her Garlands (1842), and The Thames from Millbank, Cinderella and most importantly, The Poor Teacher. As well, also in the Henry Cole Wing is Redgrave's mosaic of Donatello (1867). In the National Portrait Gallery is his self portrait. Another version of The Poor Teacher is in the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead, and an Interior of a Wood is in the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford. In the
Birmingham gallery is The Valleys Also Stand Thick with Corn (1864).
Source: The Redgrave Project - http://www.redgrave.net/getperson.php?personID=I533&tree=397.
 See AskART glossary
 See all in AskART.
Note: Redgrave was also a designer whose works were realized in glass
and porcelain. Examples can be see in the Art Institute of Chicago, the
Victoria & Albert Museum and the Musee d'Orsay, Paris (see below).
Source: A History of Modern Design : Graphics and Products Since the Industrial Revolution (2004), by David Raizman; Laurence King Publishing (400pgs)
National Portrait Gallery, London -
Victoria & Albert Museum, London -
Tate Modern, London - http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ArtistWorks?cgroupid=999999961&artistid=441
Minneapolis Institute of Art - http://www.artsmia.org/search/index.cfm?type=artworks&term=Richard+Redgrave.
The Cleveland Museum of Art -
Art Institute of Chicago - http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/artist/5522
Musee d'Orsay, Paris -
Contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.
* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx.
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