Art Wednesday: Richard Stone


Artist: Richard Stone
Born in the United Kingdom
Royal Portrait Painter

In last week's Art Wednesday I included a painting of the Queen Mother by the royal portrait painter Richard Stone.  I wanted to share more of his portraits with you - they are rather good. 

Richard Stone has painted portraits of the Royal Family for nearly three decades. At the age of 22 he became Britain's youngest royal portrait artist since Sir Thomas Lawrence painted Queen Charlotte in 1790 at the age of 21. Although he has had little formal art training, Richard Stone's success is a direct result of a natural talent and a strong determination to succeed in the career he has pursued since childhood.   Born in 1951 the son of a Colchester postman, Stone began cultivating his talent following an accident at the age of four that left him with a fractured skull and permanent deafness in his right ear. (source: link)

Even though Richard Stone is best known for his royal portraits, he also does commission work of less well known people.  The painting above is a very special commission and according to Stone's website "Jessica’s portrait was one of the most emotionally charged commissions I have ever been given. Little Jessica had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. Her parents approached me in the closing months of her short life, in the hope that I could capture a little something of her spirit."I think he most certain has captured her spirit. 

 Miss Helen Campbell-Peston (red chalk)
This drawing was done in preparation for an oil portrait, the family didn't want to keep the drawing - what a pity as it beautiful.   Daughter of Mrs Frances (later Dame Frances) Campbell-Preston, one of the ladies-in-waiting to the Queen Mother. Stone was commissioned to do a series of drawings as a wedding present from Mrs Campbell-Preston to her prospective son-in-law.
Sir Evelyn de Rothschild
Lady de Rothschild felt that a plain background was too stark and made the suggestion that a painting of Sir Evelyn’s father should be included. Coincidentally, this portrait happens to include several more of Sir Evelyn’s ancestors, creating an appropriate reference to his distinguished family.
Queen Elizabeth II, painted in 1990
Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Gloucester
 This painting was commissioned by the Royal Army Dental Corps!!
 The Duchess was so pleased with the finished portrait that she asked Stone to send a photograph of it to her dressmaker.
Baroness Margaret Thatcher, 2001
The project was very fast-paced, and from ‘conception to birth’ was completed in the space of eight weeks – not only finished and framed, but actually at a reception for £256,000, with additional proceeds from 100 specially produced lithographs continuing to swell the Tory Party coffers.
It was painted not longer after her husbands death.
Nelson Mandela
According to Stone "On seeing the work for himself, Mr. Mandela smiled broadly and clutched my hand in his. His eyes twinkled and I guess for such a modest man, he felt that the portrait did him justice."
 Miss Caitlin Curry
This is a small sketch (postcard size) done as a surprise birthday gift for her father.
 Master William Stone, aged 4, 1998
The artist's son.  He did not want to wear this outfit and the artist had to result to bribery in the end!
Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex, 2006
Mrs Sandra Howard
I love the creases in her skirt, very normal and natural - I wonder if Stone would paint the Queen with a crease in her dress!

Richard Stone painting Koko



  1. Wow, now that is REAL talent!! I LOVE his work, it's amazing! Some of those really look like photographs rather than paintings - especially the queen and the Rothschild one! Something else I like about these is how realistic they are to real life - like the creases on the skirt, and the one above that where the Countess of Wessex has a rather wide waistline. Today when you look at pictures of people (eg in the media/entertainment), you hardly know if that's really how a person looks, or whether the picture has been "airbrushed". These paintings show flaws, and I really like that. It's real.

  2. As a very amatuer artist who is self trained I can really appreciate these pictures.
    At the moment I only do pencil sketches myself, in my very limited spare time.
    I love the portrait sketches in particular, I could look at them for many hours trying to work out techniques. Thank you for bringing this artist to my attention.
    Blessings to you

  3. Clara - that is why I liked him, he didn't remove the creases and waist lines are honest. And considering he is self taught, its real talent.

  4. Рисунки прекрасные, вызывают изумление!

  5. What beautiful work! I would love to be of the means to have family portraits, but needless to say, don't think that's in the budget anytime soon! Still love to see, though.

    And just in case you're wondering what Vika said (unless you read Russian, Jo?) she agrees that they are lovely!

  6. Thanks Val -I can't read Russian and was wondering what Vika had written and planning to use google translate to figure it out. Thanks for letting me know. Do you speak/read Russian?

    I would also love a portrait done of my family, not that any of them could sit still long enough - I wonder how much a Royal Portait Painter would charge!

  7. Magnificent. I love love love portraits. What a talented artist. I've been using the new blogger dashboard and it just seems I miss seeing recent posts. I switched back and saw this come up. So glad I did.

    Thank you for giving me something beautiful today.


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