1923 - 1963

David Kentish

David S. Kentish was born at Blackheath, Lewisham, London on 4 September 1923, second son of Owen Kentish (15 August 1873-21 February 1959), an actuary, and his wife Maggie May née Stafford (30 January 1885-17 February 1966), elder daughter of William H Stafford, who married at Blackheath Congregational Church, Lewisham on 14 June 1905. In 1921, 47-year-old Owen and 36-year-old Maggie May, were living at 16 Liskeard Gardens, Blackheath with their children Margaret 13 and John William 11, both born at Lewisham, Helen Mary 6 and Elizabeth 1, both born at Charlton, London and they retained three indoor servants. David Kentish was educated at Bryanston School and trained as an artist under Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett-Haines at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, together with Lucian Freud and Bettina Shaw-Lawrence. Kentish spent the first winter of the Second World War in Capel Curig, Wales, with Lucien Freud and the poet Stephen Spender (1909-1995), where they rented a room in a retired miner's house. They spent their days painting and the evenings drawing by lamplight, the winter was hard and there was little to do except work, read, talk and listen to the recordings of Bach that Kentish had brought with him. Freud's portrait of David Kentish, his rugger-playing school friend from Bryanston public school, along with the sketches he made at this time, were exhibited at the Matthew Marks Gallery, New York in 2003. Kentish was also an actor and acting and stage management gradually took over his life. In New York on Broadway, he acted in King Henry IV Part 1 & Part II and Oedipus Rex (1946) and was the production stage manager on Anthony and Cleopatra (1951) and Venus Observed (1952). At Benton End, Freud became romantically involved with Bettina Shaw-Lawrence, and she painted a pen, ink and wash 'Portrait of David Kentish, Asleep'. David married at Kensington, London in 1949, Rosemary Ruth Hill (4 June 1927-12 April 1989) and they had a son, Simon, born in 1950. David Kentish died at Wandsworth on 14 April 1963, aged 39.

Works by This Artist