Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)

The Artists Children at Play, circa 1950

SKU: 556
Watercolour over pen and ink, on Whatman board, 8 7/8 x 13 in. (22 x 33 cm.)

Height – 22cm x Width – 33cm


Christine Sheppard, the artist’s daughter

Provenance: Christine Sheppard, the artist’s daughter

This shows Christine, aged six, and Michael, aged four, in the sitting room of their
home, 65 Dorchester Way, Kenton, north-west London. Sheppard’s family
provided models for him, and the domestic scenes of their everyday
lives offered an endless range of subject matter.

I remember
posing many, many times for my father. Sometimes we were paid pocket
money for sittings, especially when we didn’t feel like sitting still!
I think we wanted to help our dad and were, mainly, willing. I clearly
remember the toys in the picture’ (Christine Sheppard, email to Paul
Liss, 3 May 2007).

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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)
Self Portrait with the artist’s daughter Christine, c.1950


Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)
Sea Forms, circa 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