RICHMOND, Sir William Blake

1842 - 1921

Sir William Blake Richmond

William Blake Richmond, was born at York Street, Marylebone, London on 29 November 1842 and baptised at Marylebone on 22 January 1843, one of the many children of George Richmond, R.A. (28 March 180919 March 1896), who painted the portraits of the most eminent people of his day, and his wife Julia Tatham (24 May 1811-6 January 1881), daughter of Charles Heathcote Tatham, an architect, who married at Gretna Green in January 1831. After coaching from John Ruskin (1819-1900), in 1857 William entered the Royal Academy schools, where he studied for about three years. After a visit to Italy in 1859 he began the study of old masters and his first Academy picture in 1861, was a portrait group. William married at Marylebone in late 1864, Charlotte Foster (1841-16 December 1865), who was buried in Brompton Cemetery on 19 December 1865 and William married secondly at Ryde, Isle of Wight on 30 November 1867, 20 year old Clara Jane Richards (1846-1915), youngest daughter of William Richards of Cardiff, and their children included Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond (18711946), a naval historian, and Ernest Richmond (18741955), an architect. In 1874, the Southwold churchwardens called upon William's father George, to revive the 400 year old rood screen in Southwold church in Suffolk which, at the time of the reformation, had sustained scratches to the faces of the angels, son William then went on to rent Centre Cliff House, Southwold, Suffolk and also the Worlingham Hall estate near Beccles, Suffolk. In 1878, William Richmond succeeded Ruskin as Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University 1879-1883. William was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1888, and Royal Academician in 1895. He received the degree of D.C.L. in 1896, and a knighthood of the Order of the Bath in 1897, and became professor of painting to the Royal Academy. Although a successful portrait painter, Richmond wished to paint large, allegoric works which led him to take an interest in the design of stained glass and mosaic and in decorative art, his most conspicuous achievement was the internal decoration and the glass mosaics covering the spandrels and choir of St Paul's Cathedral, London. His wife Clara was killed after being knocked down by a car near her home in Hammersmith in November 1915 and William died at Beavor Lodge, Hammersmith, London on 11 February 1921.

Works by This Artist