Geoffrey Hamilton Rhoades (1898-1980):
Joan Jenner, circa 1935
Framed (ref: 5503)
Watercolour and oil
9 3/4 x 12 in. (24.8 x 30 cm.)
Provenance: with the artist until 1980; thereafter with his son.
Rhoades married Joan Jenner in the mid 1930's. They met at a
Royal College Ball. Although Geoffrey studied at the Slade (more
prestigeous than the College at the time) one of his intimate friends,
Percy Horton, was at the College. Geoffrey, Percy, his wife Lydia and
Joan became very close friends until the end of their lives. Joan came
from Lewes in Sussex, was very intelligent, only not experiencing
university education because her divorced parents could not afford it.
She made a distinguished career as a secretary, her final appointment
being as secretary to the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art,
University of Oxford with Percy Horton as Ruskin Master. Geoffrey also
taught there as has their son Peter who was born in 1938. Joan died in
2002, aged 97, in the house in Cuddington which she had shared with
Geoffrey and subsequently with Peter, his wife his second wife Jane and their two
Rhoades was a painter in oil, watercolour and a variety of graphic media, a printmaker and also a very successful and loved teacher. Born in London, Rhoades studied painting at Clapham Art School 1915-7, then after World War I service in the Mercantile Marine attended the Slade School of Fine Art under Henry Tonks 1919-23. His landscapes, figure studies and flower paintings reflect his love of natural history and interest in the classical world. When Rhoades left the Slade Tonks said: "You've something I haven't - imagination," and Rhoades' inner life did nourish his work throughout his career. His pictures are unmistakeably English in their understatedness. In the mid-1920s Rhoades completed murals and other work for the owners of Stoke Rochford House, in Lincolnshire. During the Second World War, he lived close to and was friends with the group of artists, including Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden, who moved to Great Bardfield in Essex. He held a series of teaching posts, notably at the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford, 1953-72. He exhibited at the NEAC, RI and Goupil Gallery and had one-man shows at Maltzahn Gallery, Ashmolean Museum, Mall Galleries and Sally Hunter Fine Art, 1987. The Tate Gallery, Ashmolean Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and provincial galleries hold his work.
We are grateful to Peter Rhoades for assistance in the preparation of this note.