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  • Artist - Richard Shirley Smith - Biography
    Richard Shirley Smith was born in Hampstead in 1935 and was educated at Harrow School. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and in Rome. His main output as an artist has been a sequence of solo shows of paintings, illustrated books, trompe-l'eoil murals, engravings and bookplates. All these works reflect his interests in Italian architecture, theatre, classical ruins, surrealism and still-life. His work is full of the most extraordinary imagery: recondite references to ancient sculpture and buildings, Renaissance painting, history and and poetry combine in entirely original decorative flights of fancy. Surreal juxtapositions of architectural fragments, seashells and extravagant plant-forms abound, mixed sometimes with reminiscences of Victorian typography and period costumes, but almost always combined with representations of the bizarre found-objects which fill the artist’s studio and give him such evident delight and inspiration.
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