Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Raymond Sheppard (1913 - 1958)   BIOGRAPHY

St Paul's Under Attack from Zeppelin LZ-38 1915
Framed (ref: 2577)

Extensively inscribed with printing instructions

Pen and ink on board prepared with gesso, 9 1/2 x 7 7/8 in. (24 x 20 cm.)


Literature: Raymond Sheppard, Master Illustrator, Liss Fine Art, November 2010, Cat.74

Provenance: Christine Sheppard, the artist’s daughter .
Literature: ‘Warneford,VC’, in Lilliput, March 1957, pp. 20–7.

This illustration, from 1957, was commissioned by Lilliput, a small-format British monthly magazine of humour , short stories, photographs and the arts, founded in 1937 by the photojournalist Stefan Lorant.The illustration records an important event in the FirstWorldWar , when on 31 May 1915, the LZ-38
became the first Zeppelin to bomb London: ‘we can still feel a macabre horror over the picture of a pencil-slim object slow-moving in the night-dark, licked by searchlights, seemingly immune to gunfire, slipping incredible death from its belly before gliding unharmed away’ (Lilliput).

Raymond Sheppard served with the Royal Air Force photographic section
from 1939–45.

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.

Exhibited: 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.

To read the full text, download the catalogue here :

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