William Russell Flint moved to London in 1900. Initially employed to do medical drawings, he was later appointed to work on the Illustrated London News from 1903 to 1907. As an illustrator his true renown arose from his illustrations of the 1912 version of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. In 1924 he illustrated a new edition of Homer’s The Odyssey as well.

In the pre-war period, Flint and his wife rented a studio in Rome. It was in Italy that the artist discovered a local model called Peppina from Anticoli Corrado in the Sabine Hills. Her rural charm and natural beauty inspired Flint and made a lasting impression upon him.

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. Flint’s paintings of Spanish girls were particularly popular, both as originals and reproductions, and escalated his standing amongst art collectors.

Flint’s talent with both the watercolour medium and his skill in depicting the female form created a hallmark style which would later become legendary. 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.

  • In My Studio (Gabrielle), 1935

    by Sir William Russell Flint

    DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 27 x 21.8 ins/ 68.6 x 55.4 cm (framed) 36 x 30.5 ins/ 91.4 x 77.5 cm SIGNATURE: Signed 'William Russell Flint' (lower right) MEDIUM: Oil on canvas MAKE AN ENQUIRY

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    • A Peaceful Autumn Afternoon, 1965

      by Sir William Russell Flint

      DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 9.0 x 12.0 in./22.9 x 30.5 cm SIGNATURE:Signed lower left: W Russell Flint, signed again, titled and inscribed verso: Loch Nan Uamh (Western Highlands) MEDIUM: Watercolour 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’. MAKE AN ENQUIRY

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