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Sir William Blake Richmond

Sir William Blake Richmond KCB, RA, PPRBSA è stato ritrattista, scultore e designer di vetrate e mosaici. È noto soprattutto per i suoi lavori di ritrattistica e i mosaici decorativi nella cattedrale di St Paul a Londra.
Richmond era influente nelle prime fasi del movimento Arts and Crafts nella sua selezione di colori audaci e materiali per i mosaici della cattedrale e nella sua collaborazione con James Powell e Sons, vetrai, nella creazione di nuovi colori e materiali.



Questo nuovo materiale ha ampliato la tavolozza del vetraio ed è stato favorito dagli artisti del movimento Arts and Crafts, principalmente nella creazione di vetrate artistiche e opere d'arte decorativa.
Richmond era professore di Belle Arti presso l'Università di Oxford 1878-1883, succedendo al suo amico e mentore John Ruskin.
Richmond divenne un ritrattista di successo in tenera età.
Nel 1861, all’età di 19 anni, espose la sua prima opera importante per la Royal Academy of Arts . Il dipinto, un ritratto dei suoi due fratelli fu molto apprezzato da Ruskin.


Quell’anno, Richmond continuò a lavorare nei ritratti e studiò l’anatomia all’ospedale di San Bartolomeo.
I ritratti ampiamente visti da Richmond portarono a diverse commissioni, alcune delle quali lo portarono nel nord dell’Inghilterra per diversi mesi.
Richmond viaggiava spesso in Italia, Grecia, Spagna ed Egitto negli anni ottanta del XIX secolo.
Trascorreva alcuni mesi ogni anno esplorando nuove aree, assorbendo la storia e la mitologia della regione e realizzando numerosi disegni e bozzetti colorati.























Sir William Blake Richmond KCB, RA, PPRBSA (1842-1921), was a British portrait painter and a designer of stained glass and mosaic, whose works include mosaic decorations below the dome and in the apse of St Paul's cathedral in London.
He was the Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford from 1879-1883.


William Blake Richmond was born in 1842 in London.
His father George Richmond RA (1809-1896), himself the son of Thomas Richmond (1771-1837), painted the portraits of the most eminent people of his day and played a part in society.
He was named after a close friend of his father, the artist William Blake.

William received some coaching from Ruskin.
In 1857 at the age of 14 he entered the Royal Academy schools, where he studied for about three years.
A visit to Italy in 1859 gave him opportunity for studying the works of old masters and had an effect on his development.
His first Academy picture was a portrait group (1861); and to this succeeded, during the next three years, several other pictures of the same class.


In 1864 Richmond's first wife died. The following year he returned to Italy, where he remained for four years, chiefly at Rome.
During this time he met Frederic Leighton and the landscapist, Giovanni Costa; both of whom he admired.
He painted the large canvas, A Procession in Honor of Bacchus, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1869 when he came back to Britain.
In 1878 Richmond became Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University, succeeding Ruskin; but he resigned five years later.


Richmond's picture, An Audience at Athens (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery), was exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery, London in 1885.
He 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 he was a successful portrait-painter, Richmond wished to paint large, allegoric works, and this led him to take an interest in the design of stained glass and mosaic.


He was elected to the Art Workers Guild in 1884, and became its Master in 1891.
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.
A sequence of three large windows designed by Richmond, the earliest (1904) redesigned and remade when the second and third were added in 1910, can be seen in the Lady Chapel of Holy Trinity Sloane Street, London.

Between 1899-1901, Richmond was elected as President of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.
Richmond also took a keen interest in social questions, particularly in smoke-prevention in London.
He was the father of Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond (1871-1946), a naval historian, and of Ernest Richmond (1874-1955), an architect. | © Wikipedia