William Russell Flint
(Scottish, 1880-1969)

Flint was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of a watercolorist and designer. After studying at Daniel Stewarts School, he studied at the Royal Institution College of Artwork. It was in this environment that he was able to develop his own unique style on paper. For six years, Flint trained as a draughtsman in an Edinburgh printers workshop.


At the begining of the 20th century Russell Flint took a job at the Illustrated London News where he drew illustrations. In this time before photographs, illustrations and drawings were not only important sources of information, but great accuracy was needed to produce realistic and true images for books and magazines.

 

"Thomas a Kempis", "The Song of Solomon", Mallory's "Morte d'Arthur", Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" and Homer's "Odyssey" were all illustrated by William Russell Flint.

 

Post World War I, William Russell Flint´s artistic career began to flourish. He decided to become a full time painter, ceasing his work as an illustrator, and for a time the colorful fashions of his female models reflected the cultural changes taking place after the deprivation of the War. Leaving London he traveled to France and Spain, until the Civil War, where he produced wonderful paintings reflecting the local scenery and culture.

 

He was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1924, full member in 1933 and in 1936 became President of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour. After living on a turkey farm near Totnes, Devon during the Second World War, he and his wife moved back to London where the post war period became Russell Flint´s greatest. His talent with both the watercolor medium and his skill in depicting the female form created his legendary hallmark style.

 

Flint died in December 1969, aged 89. He left behind one of the finest and most sought after collections of watercolors in the world. A modest man, he always remained genuinely grateful for the talent he had been born with and once said: "I have always painted for fun. If it ceased to be fun, I would stop painting".