Edward Middleditch RA (1923-1987)

In the 1950s Middleditch devoted himself mainly to painting natural themes. His work over the following decades concentrated chiefly on the elements: from the weight of a huge hillside to the lightness of sunshine on water or darting through foliage. Inspired by kilims and Persian carpets, his work became increasingly abstract and stylised. He also used stencilling to create decorative patterns.

In 1973 Middleditch was elected a member of the Royal Academy and from 1984-1986 he held the post of Keeper of the Royal Academy, in charge of the Schools.

Edward Middleditch RA (1923-1987), People in a Park, 1949


12¾ x 20 in (32.5 x 51 cm)
Signed and dated (verso)
Collection: Lord Richard Attenborough

This is one of the earliest known works by Middleditch painted when the artist had just started at the Royal College of Art. By that time, he had already seen action in the war when he was awarded the Military Cross. Subsequently, he was sent to fight in Burma and West Africa.

At the Royal College of Art he was taught by Ruskin Spear, Carel Weight and John Minton. Fellow students included Derrick Greaves and Jack Smith, an association which led to the so-called ‘Kitchen Sink’ school of realist painters in the 1950’s.

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