Richard Redgrave (1804-1888) though now best known now as a painter of genre pictures and landscapes, but during his own lifetime,
He was a very influential figure in the art world, particularly in the area of art education. He was one of the driving forces behind the reform of art education in Great Britain.
Life and Career Of Richard Redgrave
He was born in Pimlico, London. He started out as a draughtsman in his father’s wire-fencing factory. His talent for drawing and his ambition lifted him out of this background when he visited the British Museum to make drawings of the Marble sculpture there.
In 1825 he sent his painting of The River Brent, near Hanwell to the Royal Academy, and in 1826 he was accepted as a student at the Academy.
In 1830 he left his father’s firm to begin his living as a teacher of art. During these years he also exhibited his work at the Academy and elsewhere. He created many breakthrough works during this time that captured the Victorian public’s interest immensely. Later on, he became a founder member of the Etching Club.
He also became a royal academician in 1851. he proved himself to be a very capable administrator, and became “the driving force behind the reform of art education in Great Britain”.
Richard Redgrave Paintings
He was also one of the few important voices on the selection committee of 1853, for the Victoria and Albert Museum, and becoming the first Keeper of Paintings there.
He received the Legion of Honour for helping to organize the British section of the Paris Exhibition in 1855, and in 1857 became Inspector-General for Art.
In 1858 he began the “first systematic survey of the condition of the pictures” As Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures which he continued till 1880.
He was in charge of the art section for the 1862 Exhibition in London, and he also directed the art division of the education department between 1874 and 1875.
Richard Redgrave Biography
He was not only a top administrator but also compiled his mammoth catalogs of the royal collection. Despite being at the highest administrative post he found time for writing about art and design.
Along with his elder brother Samuel who was an art historian he prepared the comprehensive and authoritative ‘A Century of Painters of the English School’ in 1866.
In 1869 he turned down a knighthood, but he was made a CB on retirement. He died at his London home in Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, on 14 December 1888.
Works Of Richard Redgrave
- Ophelia, 1842
- The Poor Teacher (later known as The Governess, 1844)
- The Deserter, 1847
- Self-portrait, 1850
- The Outcast, 1851
- A Woodland Glade, 1854
- The Emigrant’s Last Sight of Home, 1858
- The Valleys Also Stand Thick with Corn (Psalm LXV), 1864