Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Stuart Armfield (1916-2000)   BIOGRAPHY

Props, circa 1951
Framed (ref: 479)
Signed and titled on the reverse
Egg tempera on panel, 24 × 20 in. (61 × 50.8 cm.)


Provenance: private collection, USA
Exhibited: Society of British Artists, year unknown

On the evidence of the address on the reverse, this painting can be dated to around 1951, when the artist moved from Polperro to Looe (both in  Cornwall). Armfield, like his uncle, Maxwell, was an expert on tempera painting; in 1958 he published Tempera Painting (London and New York); he also broadcast on the subject on television.

The number on the propeller is its component number, and not the parent vessel’s registration.

We are grateful to Geoff Hassell for his assistance.

Stuart Armfield (1916-2000)

Painter, notably in tempera, horn in Sanderstead, Surrey. He studied at West of England College of Art, Bristol, and was from 1935-40 on the art staff of Ealing Studios. Films worked on included Gracie Fields' Sing As We Go, 1934 and George formby's I See Ice, 1938. During a short contract at a Paris film studio, from his cousin Maxwell Armfield he learned the tempera technique. Wrote the manual Tempera Painting.
Showed at RA, with St Ives Society of Artists of which he was a member, Arthur Jeffress Gallery, RWS and in America. Lived in Looe, Cornwall, later in Plymouth, Devon. After World War II, Armfield produced Symbolist pictures which featured black models, chessboards and keys, sought by collectors such as King Hassan of Morocco, the exiled Prince Chula of Thailand and the actor Lric Portman. Ironically for a Quaker pacifist, who was a conscientious objector in World War II, Armfield's sole work in a British public collection at the time of his death was Anti­Invasion Obstructions, in the Imperial War Museum. James Colman Fine Art held an eightieth-birthday retro­spective in 1996, a memorial show in 2000.

See all works by Stuart Armfield