RICHARD EURICH, Harlequins, 1926
Richard Eurich is regarded by many collectors as a quintessentially English artist. His landscape paintings capture the gentle charms of the Yorkshire countryside where he grew up and the pastoral delights of the Hampshire coast where he lived in later life, and his figure paintings tend to be imbued with a particular form of English wit and, occasionally, whimsy. However Harlequins, my artwork of the week, shows that the artist’s interests stretched some way beyond the safe and familiar.
Eurich was born in 1903 in Bradford and studied at the Slade School of Art 1924-26. He was inspired by the trends in French paintings championed by Roger Fry and Clive Bell, despite the attestations of his teacher Henry Tonks. Indeed, one of his reports from the Slade reads: “this student is being influenced by painters who have not been dead long enough to be respectable”, probably in reference to Cezanne, Picasso and Severini amongst other Post-Impressionist artists (Severini and Picasso appear to have been a particular reference point for the Harlequins composition). During his time at the Slade Eurich worked mostly on drawing, commenting that the quality of painting there was ‘completely lacking in vitality.’ He was a talented draughtsman, winning the Slade’s Sketch Club prize every month for his entries during his last term. However, shortly after leaving the Slade he switched to painting because of the strain on his eyes the painstaking process of drawing caused them.
Harlequins dates from his final months at the Slade and displays a wonderful fluidity and confidence in composition that belies the artist’s tender years. In fact the works he produced as a teenager prior to attending art school show that he had considerable innate talent from an early age. This particular painting has been in the Eurich family collection for almost 100 years now, and we are proud to be offering it this September as part of a small exhibition of the artist’s work largely drawn from the estate.
The exhibition coincides with the launch of a major new book on Eurich by Andrew Lambirth and published by Lund Humphries. Despite his work being held in significant collections such as the Tate in London and MoMA in New York, his long association with the Royal Academy and his stunning work as a war artist, this is surprisingly the first major publication devoted to him.
Please contact the London gallery for more information on the book, the exhibition and the artist.
RICHARD EURICH (British 1903-1992)
Oil on canvas
27 x 21 in / 68.5 x 53 cm