EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY: Shepherd … Wildlife artist extraordinaire

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David Shepherd
Summertime by David Shepherd

 

My business and my gallery are known for supplying high quality original artworks, so unusually for me, today I am writing about a print.

The print in question is a signed limited edition lithograph of a well-known and much loved painting by, probably the most famous British wildlife artist of recent times, David Shepherd  CBE FRSA FGRA (1931 – 2017). It is called “Summertime” and is of a horse and foal in a field. It is signed in pencil to the border by the artist and is numbered 99/1000.

Richard David Shepherd was born in Hendon in Middlesex in April of 1931. He lived for most of his early childhood in Totteridge, North London.

At the age of only eight he won a national children’s painting competition organised and run by Nursery World Magazine. His schooling was at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire and after leaving school he departed our shores and went to Kenya with the intention of becoming a game warden…but was unsuccessful as he was told he had no talent for the role.

On his return to the UK he applied to the Slade School of Art, but was rejected. However, the artist Robin Goodwin took him under his wing and trained him for three years.

Shepherd became one of the most prolific artists of the 1970’s and 80’s. His works were replicated en masse for a market that demanded copies of his beautiful and moving paintings of many endangered species.

Shepherd’s work reflected a deep passion within him for the conservation of the wildlife that surrounded him during his numerous visits to the continent of Africa. Shepherd became a very outspoken activist for the many conservation movements. This was sparked during one of his earliest expeditions into the African bush where he discovered a waterhole that had been deliberately poisoned. It was surrounded by large numbers of dead Zebras.

A lifelong ambition to get the message out to the world had been sparked.

Two of his most famous paintings (“Tiger In The Sun” and “The Ivory Is Theirs”) were painted for exactly that reason, to raise funds for the preservation of these magnificent beasts and to get the world to see the consequences of killing these beautiful animals for human gratification. Sadly, it still goes on today!

Shepherd’s wildlife paintings were not only hugely prized by the art world but they raised huge sums of money for conservation and needless to say for Shepherd himself. This new-found wealth enabled him to indulge in another of his passions which also became the other of his most notable subject matters for his artwork. He was a steam enthusiast and he developed an impressive record of buying and restoring old steam trains.

Shepherd was awarded an OBE in the 1980 New Year’s Honours then in the 2008 Birthday Honours list was granted a CBE. He lived in Surrey and Sussex with his wife, Avril. They had four daughters, one of whom (Mandy) is also a wildlife artist. He died in 2017 after a battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

This picture is currently available for sale in my showroom or in my online shop and has real value in it, being priced at only £60.

Alternatively, we now offer a leasing arrangement, so this along with all of our paintings, can be rented for a small fixed monthly rental fee.

This piece, along with many other great works, is available to view, purchase or rent at AntiqArt, the “preloved art” gallery at Holme Grange Craft Village or online at www.antiqart.co.uk or call us on 0118 327 5421.

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