A signed watercolour by Thomas (Tom) Rathmell, "Looking for Shade"
Tom Rathmell is a well respected artist who lived from 1912-1996.
Rathmell was born in Wallasey, Cheshire in 1912. He trained at Liverpool School of Art and at London's Royal College of Art. He moved to Newport after the war, becoming head of fine art and vice-principal of Newport School of Art and Design from 1947 to 1972, and influencing such well-known Welsh painters as John Selway.
Rathmell worked in pencil and paint on a variety of surfaces and exhibited extensively in England and Europe but mainly in south Wales. Among his most commercial work was a series of commissions for illustrations for the Radio Times, undertaken in the 1950s.
In 1969 he painted a commissioned work for the Welsh Office, representing the investiture of the Prince of Wales. He painted a mural for the Welsh Rugby Union in 1978 as well as portraits for schools, universities, and other bodies. Many of his paintings now hang at The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.
A posthumous exhibition of 71 of Rathmell’s drawings and paintings was held at Newport's GPF Gallery.
One of Rathmell's unusual claims to fame is that of being the father-in-law to the late rock singer and composer, Ian Dury. Rathmell’s daughter Elizabeth met Dury at the Royal College of Art. They married and had two children, Baxter and Jemima.
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