Richards, Frances

(1903 – 1985)

Hieratic Floral Figure, 1974

Unique early lithographic proof, printed by Curwen Studio

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
Margaret Pond, and thence by descent

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, et al. Women Only Works on Paper. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p. 88.

Frances Richards was a multi-talented artist working variously as a painter, draughtswoman, fresco artist,
potter, embroiderer, sculptor, teacher and poet. Soon after completing her scholarship at the Royal College
of Art in 1930, Richards received her first professional commission when Stanley Morison, the founder of
the Monotype Corporation, asked her to provide a series of lithographs inspired by The Twelve Acts of the
Apostles. With their clean and delicate lines and touching evocation of mood and atmosphere, these early
works are characteristic of the simple lyricism that would define Richard’s graphic art and would still be in
evidence half a century later in compositions such as Hieratic Floral Figure.

Throughout her life Richards’ had a deep love of poetry and was particularly affected by the visionary
symbolism of Arthur Rimbaud. The year after producing Hieratic Floral Figure she executed a set of lithographs,
published by the Curwen Press, inspired by Rimbaud’s Les Illuminations which were first published in 1886.
Depicting figures in dream-like landscapes, the illustrations reveal the artist’s love of early Renaissance
painting, in particular the work of Fra Angelico.

A copy of this lithograph, in its final state,  is in the collection of Tate.

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THE ARTIST

Richards, Frances

1903 – 1985

Frances Richards (nŽ e Clayton) worked as a pottery designer for
Paragon while studying at Burslem School of Art (1919’24),
before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art (1924′
27) where she met Ceri Richards (whom she married in 1929). 

Greatly influenced by Italian Renaissance painters, she
specialised in tempera and fresco painting in her studies, and
continued to work in tempera after leaving the college. During
the 1930s she produced lithographs, and in 1931 provided twelve
drawings for The Revelation of St. John the Divine

In 1945, she held her first solo exhibition at the Redfern
Gallery, where she exhibited again in 1949 and 1954. She also
took part in shows at Hannover Gallery (1950), the Leicester
Galleries (1964 and 1969), the Howard Roberts Gallery, and
Holsworthy Gallery (1981). 

A respected teacher, Richards held posts at Camberwell School
of Art (1928’39) and later Chelsea School of Art (1947’59).

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

Mother and child, sleeping
£800.00