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(Geoffrey) Robert Russell

(Hayes, Kent 1902-1984 Swanage)

Venetian Slippers, c. 1928-1930s

oil on canvas

signed ‘Russell’ lower right

55 x 40 cm.

in a period frame

Robert Russell was a prolific artist, working predominantly in oil. He studied at St. John's Wood Art School and at Westminster School of Art under Walter Bayes, Bernard Meninsky and Randolph Schwabe, and later under Walter Sickert in 1927. As a young artist he exhibited variously at the Royal Academy, the New English Art Club, the Royal Society of British Artists, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and the Royal West of England Academy (who hold works by the artist in their permanent collection).

This stylised portrait of the artist’s red Venetian slippers on a rug shows the aesthetic influence of the Camden Town and Bloomsbury artists, with whom Russell undoubtedly rubbed shoulders.

As was increasingly fashionable in artistic circles at the time, Russell left London to settle in the West Country in the 1930s, to experience the full aesthetic power of ‘wild’ English landscape. He lived in Weymouth in Dorset in the 1950s, and later nearby Swanage. As a pundit he broadcast regularly on art, notably the series ‘Famous Artists and the West Country’, 1956-1965.

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