Sir William Russell Flint

The Model and the Chinese Philosopher

Watercolour: 11.4(h) x 15.5(w) in /

28.9(h) x 39.4(w) cm

Signed and dated lower right: W RUSSELL FLINT 1961; signed, dated and inscribed on the reverse

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BJ 155

 

SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL FLINT RA, PRWS

Edinburgh 1880 – 1969 London

 

The Model and the Chinese Philosopher

 

Signed and dated lower right: W RUSSELL FLINT 1961; signed, dated and inscribed The Model and the Chinese Philosopher /W Russell Flint / February 1961 on the reverse. Signed, dated and inscribed The Model and the Chinese Philosopher / Presented to the Old Watercolour

Society’s Club /W Russell Flint / Spring 1961 on the backboard

Watercolour: 11 ⅜ x 15 ½ in / 28.9 x 39.4 cm

Frame size: 18 x 22 ½ in / 45.7 x 57.2 cm

 

Provenance:

Presented by the artist to the Old Watercolour Society‘s Club, Spring 1961

Miss Clara Beausire, CBE, 19th April 1961, presented by the above, then by descent

E. Alan Beausire

Frost & Reed, London

Private collection, UK

Richard Green, London, 1987

Private collection, Australia, 1988

Richard Green, London

 

Exhibited:

London, The Old Water-colour Society’s Club, Spring Exhibition, 1961

London, The Royal Academy of Arts, Diploma Gallery, Exhibition of Works by Sir William Russell Flint RA PPRWS, 20th October – 21st December 1962, no. 41

London, Richard Green, Sir William Russell Flint RA PRWS 1880-1969: An exhibition of fine watercolours and drawings, 1989, no. 16

 

Literature:

Adrian Bury (ed.), The Old Water-colour Society’s Club, The Thirty-Sixth Annual Volume, London, 1961, illustrated

Exhibition of Works by Sir William Russell Flint RA PPRWS, exhibition catalogue, Diploma Gallery, The Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1962, p. 17

 

We are grateful to Hannah Hawksworth at the Royal Watercolour Society Archive for her assistance with the cataloguing of this work.

 

SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL FLINT RA PRWS

Edinburgh 1880 – 1969 London

 

Famed as a watercolourist of remarkable technical skill, William Russell Flint also painted in oil and tempera and produced many etchings and drypoints.   It was as an artist of feminine grace that he won universal acclaim, for his picturesque gypsies, flamenco dancers and languorous nudes and half draped beauties.  For many years he also painted the landscapes and seascapes of England and Scotland, and travelled abroad, where he painted in Switzerland, Italy, Spain and France.

 

Born in Edinburgh in 1880, Flint was the eldest son of a commercial designer and watercolourist, Francis Wighton Flint.  He was educated at Daniel Stewart’s College, and at the age of fourteen he took up a six year apprenticeship as a lithographic artist and designer with a firm of printers.  He also attended evening classes at the Royal Institute School of Art, studying under C.W. Hodder.

 

In 1900, Flint moved to London and started work as a medical illustrator. Between 1902 and 1903 he worked as a commercial designer and magazine illustrator, appointed to the Illustrated London News. During this time he also attended evening classes at Heatherley’s Art School, where he met and later married Sybylle Sueter in 1905.  Already a successful black and white draughtsman, he now turned to colour illustration and was commissioned by the Medici Society to make illustrations for several of their de luxe editions, including Malory’s Morte d’Arthur and Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

 

During the First World War, Flint served as a lieutenant in the RNVR and later as a captain in the RAF.  He was attached to the RNAS Airship section from 1916 to 1918 and was Admiralty Assistant Overseer on HM Airship R34 from 1918 to 1919.

 

After the war, Flint established his reputation as a painter, and became one of the most sought after artists of the day.  Whilst his work won immediate favour with amateurs and connoisseurs alike, the exhibiting societies were also quick to give him official recognition.  He was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1912, a member of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours in 1917, and President of the latter from 1936-56. He became a fellow of the Royal Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers in 1933. He was knighted in 1947, and accorded a one-man exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1962, the highest distinction that an artist can achieve during his lifetime.

 

 

VictorianSir William Russell Flint