CHOPPING, Richard Wasey

1917 - 2008

Richard 'Dickie' Chopping

Richard Wasey Chopping was born at Colchester, Essex on 14 April 1917, son of Wasey Chopping (1867-1 May 1932), a company director, and his wife Amy Maria Dodd (3 January 1891-1970), daughter of the late Ralph Dodd of London, who married at The Minster, Newark, Nottinghamshire on 30 October 1913. Richard was educated at Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk where one of his teachers encouraged his interest in art and he went on to study at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing at Benton End, Hadleigh, Suffolk and, with the suggestion from fellow student and lifelong partner Dennis Wirth-Miller, Chopping debuted two paintings at the Goupil Gallery in 1939. An illustrator and an author, best known for painting the dust jackets of Ian Fleming's 'James Bond' novels starting with 'From Russia, with Love' (1957). In 1939, he was living with his widowed mother at 6-8 Anchor Hill, Colchester and he exhibited at the Ipswich Art Club in 1941 from Queens Road, Colchester, one painting 'The Stour at Wissington' and he exhibited at the Royal Academy. Chopping established himself as an author and illustrator of natural history and children's books, his early works include 'Butterflies in Britain' (1943), 'A Book of Birds' (1944), 'The Old Woman and the Pedlar' (1944), 'The Tailor and the Mouse' (1944), 'Wild Flowers' (1944), 'Heads, Bodies & Legs', and the collection of short stories 'Mr Postlethwaite's Reindeer' (1945). Chopping's first novel, 'The Fly' (1965) was recommended to its publisher by Angus Wilson (1913-1991), his second novel, 'The Ring' (1967), was much less successful and his short story 'The Eagle' appears in the anthology 'Lie Ten Nights Awake' (1967). Chopping's life partner was the landscape painter Denis Wirth-Miller and the two were the first couple to register a Civil Partnership in Colchester. They lived in Wivenhoe for over sixty years and were the founders of an artist community which counted Francis Bacon (1909-1992) as a member. Richard Wasey Chopping died at Colchester on 17 April 2008.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from The Store House, The Quay, Wivenhoe, Essex
1952 849 Apples - watercolour
         856 Moss Rose - watercolour
         1030 Stinking Hellebore - watercolour

Works by This Artist