Published 18th December 2013
'‘The Leonardo de Vinci of
This was the eye-catching headline in the obituary to Frederick Alfred Rhead published in the Staffordshire Advertiser on Saturday, 6th May 1933. High praise for a hard working Staffordshire potter, but the extraordinary collection of Rhead art pottery, ceramics, pictures and artefacts, which we will sell on 21st/22nd January 2014 in our Winter 2014 Fine Art Auction, show he clearly was part of an extraordinary dynasty of artists.
My involvement has been with the pictures; some closely linked to the ceramics in terms of original sketches and designs ranging from the important watercolour drawing of the Gladstone Vase, to figurative and narrative designs for art pottery tiles, many of which went to production.
FA Rhead - The Creation of Genesis (FS21/262)
Among the FA Rhead paintings, the most spectacular is this watercolour interpretation of what I believe is the sixth day of The Creation from Genesis Chapter 1, when God created herbs, trees, flowers and plants (FS21/262). It is a rhythmical and highly decorative image which was a bit of a puzzle, so by all means let me know if you think it may not be The Creation!
The watercolour is in the fine picture auction on 21st January 2014 along with several others by Frederick Rhead, and from the same collection, paintings by Louis John Rhead, Frederick Hurten Rhead, a charming sketch of a terrier by Charlotte Rhead and an important painting by George Woolliscroft Rhead which I will post news about shortly.
So, if Rhead was the de Vinci of North Staffordshire, how about William Widgery, the JMW Turner of East Devon…..?