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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Frances Richards

Frances Richards 1903-1985
Pentecost 1929-80
from The Acts of the Apostles
Intaglio print on paper
image: 190 x 140 mm
Tate Gallery, London

Frances Richards 1903-1985
Peter in Prison 1929-80
from The Acts of the Apostles
Intaglio print on paper
image: 165 x 127 mm
Tate Gallery, London

Frances Richards 1903-1985
The Shipwreck 1929-80
from The Acts of the Apostles
Intaglio print on paper
image: 152 x 140 mm
Tate Gallery, London




The works and career of Frances Richards [1903-1985] were and are overshadowed by the career and works of her more famous husband, Ceri Richards [1903 - 1971].

Richards met Frances Clayton in 1927 and they married two years later. A gifted artist herself she had won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art from Burslem, near Stoke-on-Trent, where she had worked as a designer at the Paragon China Works. In the early years of their marriage she was a frequent model.

In 1929 Stanley Morison commissioned Frances Richards to produce an engraving illustrating the Acts of the Apostles for The Fleuron.

A version of ‘The Shipwreck’ was published, but the plate was subsequently lost.

Another version of ‘The Shipwreck’ and six more plates were engraved at the same time but never proofed. In 1978 the plates were discovered, proofed and editioned by Mel Gooding of Barn Elm Editions

She also illustrated the Book of Revelation, published in London and New York 1931.

In his biography of Ceri Richards, Richards` son-in-law described Frances Richards as having 'a marvellous visual insight and a formidable intelligence. She had no doubts as to Richards' genius and a precise understanding of its nature' (Mel Gooding, Ceri Richards 2002)