Richard Shirley Smith, Fatal Allegations, 457 x 609mm
Richard Shirley Smith was born in 1935 and now lives in Blewbury near Didcot. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and in Rome. He is perhaps best known as an illustrator of ﬁne books, Folio Society etc., but his most important works are those where his exceptional imagination is untrammelled like in this picture. Although a representational painting of a Venetian scene it could only occur in a dream. There is an obvious debt to the Venetian painter Longhi, particularly his masked balls and conversation pieces of a decaying patrician society. But here there is allegory, humour and overtones of surrealism with the alligator and false teeth.