Charles Ricketts 1866-1931

Artist biography

Charles RICKETTS 1866–1931

Painter of romantic subjects, illustrator, stage designer, sculptor, connoisseur and writer on art. Born 2 October 1866 at Geneva, of an English father and a French mother, and brought up in France and Italy. Studied in 1882 at Lambeth School of Art, where he met his lifelong friend Charles Shannon, with whom he founded a magazine The Dial 1889–97, and the Vale Press 1896–1904. He gave up printing after 1904 and turned to painting and occasional sculpture and in 1906 began to design for the theatre, his designs including sets for Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan 1924. Exhibited at the International Society from 1906 and the Grosvenor Gallery from 1921. Art adviser to the National Gallery of Canada 1924–31. Author of The Prado and its Masterpieces 1903, Titian 1910, Pages on Art 1913, and the posthumous Self-Portrait 1939. A.R.A. 1922; R.A. 1928. Died in London 7 October 1931. Included in the Late Members exhibition at the R.A., winter 1933. A large part of the collection of works of art which he formed in association with Shannon is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Lit: T. Sturge Moore, Charles Ricketts R.A., Sixty-five Illustrations, 1933; C. Ricketts, Self-Portrait, 1939.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II