Ruskin Spear (1911-1990)Contact the gallery for available works
1911-1990Ruskin Spear, CBE, RA (30 June 1911 - 17 January 1990) was an English painter from London.
Born in Hammersmith , Spear attended the local art school before going on to the Royal College of Art in 1930. He began his teaching career at Croydon School of Art, going on to teach at the Royal College of Art from 1948 to 1975.
Initially influenced by Sickert and the Camden Town Group , and the portraiture of the Euston Road School , his work often has a narrative quality, with elements of humor and respectful satire.
Because he used a wheelchair due to childhood polio much of his work focused on his immediate surroundings. He always observed life and the local characters with the greatest interest and was able to paint them relaxing as he was so well known and respected in his local pub. From his wheelchair he studied life and the people around him, with a skill that ranks him at the top of the Twentieth Century painters, on a par with his predecessors Hogarth, Gilray, Rowlandson, Sickert and Lowry who was a friend.
In 1980 the Royal Academy London held a retrospective, and his work is now represented in many major galleries, such as the Tate, National Portrait Gallery, Imperial War Museum and other major collections. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire