Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)

Night Forms, c.1940

SKU: 2090
Gouache on paper, 20 1/2 x 13 3/8 in. (52 x 34 cm.)


Height – 52cm x Width – 34cm


Litterature: Raymond Sheppard, Master Illustrator, Liss Fine Art, November 2010, Cat.80

Although best known as an illustrator, especially of magazines such as Lilliput, Picture Post and The Studio as well as of children’s books, Sheppard was one of the most gifted painters of wildlife of his generation. He was also an extremely diverse artist, producing semi-abstract and surrealist images alongside those of a purely realistic nature.

Sheppard’s abstract works probably date to the late 1940s and early 1950s. Organic in form, they were a natural extension of the interest he had in plants and animals, but are likely to have been equally informed by his work with the Royal Air Force photographic section from 1939 to 1945.

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Raymond Sheppard
1913 - 1958

Raymond Sheppard; Artist in water-colour, black and white, oil, pastel;
Born London 3 March 1913; son of Edward and Annie Sheppard.

Married Iris Gale on December 3rd 1942; had one daughter Christine born 17
March 1944, and one son Michael born 25th July 1946. Educated
Christ’s College, Finchley, north west London.

Studied art at Bolt Court under S.G. Boxsius.

R.A; R.I; R.S.A; Work reproduced regularly in publications
including Lilliput ; The Studio, Picture Post, John Bull, Everybody’s ;
in children’s books, nature books and calendars.

Raymond Sheppard produced many studies of birds and animals from life, mainly
at Regents Park Zoo and was made a Fellow of the Zoological Society in
1949. He also painted landscapes, family portraits, in watercolour,
oil, and pastels . He was a founder member of the Wapping Arts Group, a
group of artists who sketched and painted by and around the river
Thames in London, which was formed just before WW2 but did not start in
earnest until 1946.

Publications: How to Draw Birds (first
published by Studio in 1940), Drawing at the Zoo (1949 Studio), More
Birds to Draw (Studio 1956).

Lived in Kenton and then Harrow Weald, Middx. Clubs: Chelsea Arts, Langham Sketch.

Raymond Sheppard died in London of cancer in 1958 with which he had battled
since 1949. He also served in the RAF photographic section during the
WW2. Despite long periods of ill health and the interruption of the War
years he was, nevertheless, prolific in demonstrating his wide range of
artistic ability as a master draughtsman, illustrator, and landscape
and wildlife artist.

Had Raymond Sheppard lived beyond his mid 40s his reputation as one of the foremost illustrators of his generation might have been secured ‘ his premature death resulted in his name sinking into obscurity for half a century. Only his prolific career as an illustrator (nearly 100 children’s books in the single decade following the end of WW2) has prevented his name from disappearing altogether and secured him a credible place in the standard reference works of the period. What has never been appreciated before is the remarkable diversity of Raymond Sheppard’s oeuvre. Aside from his more familiar studies of wildlife his studio has revealed a series of remarkable portraits, thrilling boy’s-own period illustrations, plein air seascapes, landscapes, views of the Thames and surreal compositions, which at times verge on abstraction. All have in common Sheppard’s stated aim to express his inner emotion: “…that peculiar, unexplainable tightening inside that makes you want to laugh sometimes, sometimes to sing and dance for joy, and sometimes just a little sad.


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Lion attacking Rhino


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Rhino sleeping


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Study of a Rhino head


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Rhino head


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Story board – Panic Party, Gun crew lying motionless, Periscope Up, Firing at U-Boat, Flooded Vessel, circa 1950


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
H.M.S. Goliath and The end of the Konisberg


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Cristine imploring


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Studies of an Impala


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
North Sea Incident, 1957


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Christine and Teddy Bear, c. 1950s


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Nets ad Lobster pots, Mudford, near Christchurch, Dorset,C, 1950’s


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
The Adventures of René Cutforth, c. 1956


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Crsitine seated on a stool with doll caled Sylvie c. 1950


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Michael with Toy Car, c.1952


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Monarch of the Glen, circa 1935


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Chipperfield Common Herts, circa 1950


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Study of Tiger


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Polar Bear


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Sea Forms, circa 1950


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Self Portrait with the artist’s daughter Christine, c.1950


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Sheet with two portraits of Christine, one profile one 3/4 view circa 1951


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Christine Sketching at Kitchen Table, c.1952


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Christine Seated with teddy, circa 1950


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
A speeding train hurled into another….


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
The Artist’s Wife Iris Llistening to the Wireless