RICHARD SHIRLEY SMITH was born in Hampstead in 1935 and was educated at Harrow School. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and in Rome. His main output as an artist has been a sequence, over fifty years, of solo shows of paintings, illustrated books, trompe-l'eoil murals, engravings and bookplates. All these works reflect his interests in Italian architecture, theatre, classical ruins, surrealism and still-life.
During the 1980s he painted a number of mural decorations at Eaton Square, Princes Gate, Kensington Palace Gardens and others outside London. His fiftieth birthday was marked by a substantial retrospective at The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. After the exhibition the museum acquired all his available engravings for their print room.
Since 2002 he has completed a three storey mural, The Cycle of Life, at Sheepdrove and a mural for Sir Roy Strong called Laskett Shades. Engravings have been acquired by the British Museum and the V&A. The Bodleian Library has requested his main archive; and the Moss Collection of all his printed work, books, engravings and bookplates has gone to Yale University. The Fleece Press published his collected bookplates in 2005. He has also made decorations for the Highgrove Florilegium of 2008.
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