CHOPPING, Richard Wasey

1917 - 2008

Richard 'Dickie' Chopping

Richard Wasey Chopping, was born at Colchester, Essex on 14 April 1917, son of Wasey Chopping (1867-1932) and his wife Amy Maria Dodd (3 January 1891-1970), who married at Southwell, Nottinghamshire in 1913. Educated at Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk where one of his teachers encouraged an interest in art. Painting would become his calling, and with the suggestion from fellow artist and lifelong partner Denis Wirth-Miller [q.v.], Chopping debuted two paintings at the Goupil Galleries 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'. Chopping also 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. 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. He died at Colchester on 17 April 2008.

Works by This Artist