WILLIAM RATCLIFFE (1870-1955)
The breakfast table
signed 'W. Ratcliffe.' (lower right)
oil on canvas 31 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (80 x 64 cm.)
With Ernest, Brown, Phillips, Leicester Galleries, London. Private collection, UK.
Ratcliffe spent almost 20 years designing wallpaper before turning to painting upon the strong encouragement of Harold Gilman who he met in 1908. In 1910 he attended the Slade School of Fine Art and in the meantime attended Fitzroy Street meetings. He was part of the Camden Town Group before World War I and amongst the founder members of the London Group. With the guidance and support of Gillman, Ratcliffe spent time with Sickert painting in Dieppe and also went to Sweden. He exhibited in a number of the leading London galleries at the time: Carfax, NEAC, Goupil, Roland, Browse and Delbanco and in America. Typical for his interiors, The breakfast table focuses on the domestic kitchen space and view behind. The paint is applied in a broken touch, a technique learned from Lucien Pissarro, who moved to London in 1890. His use of separate touches of pure colour inspired many of the Firzroy Street Artists. The breakfast table with its luminous palette and beautiful details is a great example of Ratcliffe's own approach to still life and a showcase for the need of a wider appreciation of the talent of this lesser known Camden Town Group artist. (See R. Allwood, William Ratcliffe: paintings, prints and drawings, North Hertfordshire, 2011 pp 20-22.)
Sold for £22,000
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