Chateauneuf sur Loire, 1963

by Sir William Russell Flint

£29,500

Sir William Russell Flint, one of the most celebrated British painters of the 20th century, has enjoyed almost constant popularity since the 1920s.  His best work reflects a genuine greatness in watercolour technique . The Times’ obituary paid tribute to his exceptional mastery of the watercolour medium: ‘Sir William Russell Flint, RA, who has died at the age of 89, will be chiefly remembered as a watercolourist of remarkable technical skill. Though he painted also in oils and tempera and produced a considerable number of etchings and dry-points, his most characteristic works were watercolour landscapes and figure compositions, elaborately carried out and displaying great virtuosity, in the gradations of a wash and a special manner of enriching its effect by taking advantage of a grained surface paper’.

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 20.3 x 27.3 in./51.6 x 69.3 cm
SIGNATURE: W. Russell Flint, l.r.; inscribed verso W. Russell Flint Chateauneuf-sur-Loire July 1963
MEDIUM: Watercolour

Catalogue No: 5681 Categories: ,

Sir William Russell Flint was surely the greatest watercolour painter of the last century. In a lifetime spanning almost ninety years he fulfilled the role of devoted husband and father, medical illustrator, naval officer, etcher and painter. He enjoyed a dedicated following, was honoured and admired by his peers, and knighted by his monarch.

He was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy and was elected an Associate member in 1924 with full membership being granted in 1933. However his first love amongst the societies was the Royal Watercolour Society. Formed in 1804 the RWS was the senior of the watercolour societies. Russell Flint was elected a member in 1914 and served as their President for twenty years from 1936, and subsequently retained the title of Past President. (PPRWS).

The Collection of a Massachusetts Lady

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William Russell Flint was the most influential and highly regarded watercolour artist in London in the 1930’s. Flint began his artistic career working for the Illustrated London News from 1903 to 1907. His true renown arose from his illustrations of the 1912 version of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the 1924 illustrations of a new edition of Homer’s The Odyssey.

In the pre-war period, Flint and his wife rented a studio in Rome and it was in Italy that the artist discovered the charm and beauty of the watercolour medium.
Flint fought in the First World War, but after being decommissioned he travelled to Scotland, France, Italy and Spain, where he produced wonderful watercolours and drawings reflecting the local culture and customs. In 1962 his work was acknowledged by a retrospective exhibition in the Diploma Gallery of the Royal Academy which was attended by 21,000 visitors.

Flint was elected as a Royal Academician in 1933, became President of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour in 1936 and was knighted by King George VI in 1947 alongside the actor Laurence Olivier.

 

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