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Richard Shirley Smith (born 1935)

Richard Shirley Smith (born 1935)

Self-taught as a wood engraver, Richard Shirley Smith has drawn upon the inspirations of Italian architecture, theatre, poetry and classicism to become recognised as one of Britain’s finest classical illustrators and engravers.

Richard Shirley Smith was born in Hampstead in 1935, the son of a Harley Street heart specialist. As a young child, he moved with his family to Brimpton, Berkshire, where he first met the composer, Gerald Finzi and his wife Joy, an artist and writer. The time he spent at their home in Ashmansworth and the rooms there dedicated to reading, composition and sculpture had a profound effect on the young Shirley Smith and the Finzis would remain a strong influence over him throughout his career. He was educated at The Hall School in
Hampstead, and at Harrow, where he was taught art by the illustrator Maurice Percival. Whilst boarding at Harrow, he lived next door to the painter and war poet, David Jones.

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Subject Category

Greek & Roman (2)
Temples (1)
Tombs & Monuments (1)

Book Plates (4)
Poetry (6)

Cats (1)
Deer (1)

Ancient Rome (1)

Boats & Ships (1)

Venice (1)

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