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 Victor Noble Rainbird  (1889 - 1936)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom      Known for: painting, illustration, stained glass

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Durham from the Railway Station
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Victor Noble Rainbird (December 12, 1887 – March 8, 1936)

Rainbird was born on December 12, 1887 in North Shields United Kingdom, son of James William Rainbird (b. 1856, d. 1884) Ireland and Rosabella Foubister (b. 1855).  He attended King's College (now Newcastle University), Newcastle upon Tyne, where he distinguished himself and won several prizes.  His pictures were included in a government exhibition which toured Australia, New Zealand and Canada.  He later attended the Royal Academy Schools where he twice won Silver Medals as well as the Landseer Scholarship.

After World War I when he was a Corporal in the Northumberland Fusiliers and in the Durham Light Infantry, he practised as a professional artist in North Shields and exhibited works at the Artists of the Northern Counties exhibitions at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and also at the Royal Academy.  He made several trips to France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and a large proportion of his work is of continental subjects.  Common works that Rainbird executed many times are of Dutch fisherfolk, the sea and seafront at and around North Shields, and impressions of Rouen and Amiens.  Rarer subjects include stained glass window images, portraits and still life (flowers).

It appears that Rainbird used his paintings to pay his way through life and often seemed to have done paintings to 'pay for his supper'.  The only surviving example of stained glass work by the artist can be found in Papa Kirk, on the island of Papa Stour in Shetland.  It was commissioned to commemorate six Papa men who were lost in World War I and was fitted in 1921.  The window depicts Jesus calming a storm.

John Nicholson and Dunelm Fine Art Gallery
The artists of Northumbria: A dictionary of Northumberland and Durham painters, draughtsmen and engravers, born 1647–1900.
General Register Office - 12 December 1887 Tynemouth - Birth - Index page 1888 Tynemouth Q1 10b 211.
General Register Office - 1916 York - Marriage - Index page 1916 York Q3 9d 111.
General Registry Office - 8th March 1936 Sunderland - Death - Index page 1936 Sunderland. British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920.
Text written and provided by Bob Meadows

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