Frank Archer – Clearing the Way before a Church


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Signed Frank Archer (bottom left). Watercolour and bodycolour on textured paper, displayed in a new mount.

Image: 12 x 9 1/2 in. (30.6 x 42.3 cm.)
Mount: 17 1/4 x 14 1/2 in. (43.8 x 36.8 cm.)


Frank Archer attended the Royal College of Art where he won the coveted Rome Scholarship in 1938. His studies in Italy were cut short by the outbreak of war. The church depicted is almost certainly in Italy and was likely painted during one of his visits before or after the war.


Archer, Frank (1912-1995)

A painter and etcher, Frank Archer was born in Walthamstow and brought up there during the First World War. His studies in Italy were cut short by the outbreak of war, and he moved into teaching, eventually joining the staff of Kingston College of Art under another distinguished painter-etcher, Wilfred Fairclough. He took over from Fairclough. He joined the Royal Society of Painters-Etchers in 1940, and became first an Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1972 and later a Fellow. It was during these years that Archer discovered the importance of light - not just illuminating but imparting luminosity, radiance, and intensity of colour, making it a positive and integral part of a painting. Archer exhibited for many years at The Catto Gallery, London, Gillian Catto observes " he was one of the finest artists we represented; his strong palette was highly influenced by his father s chemist s shop, with its large Winchester jars of iridescent colours". Frank Joseph Archer, artist: born Walthamstow, London 30 June 1912; ARCA, 1937, ARE 1940, RE 1960; ARWS 1972, RWS 1976; Head of School of Fine Art, Kingston Polytechnic, 1962-73; married 1939 Celia Cole (died 1990; one son, one daughter); died Eastbourne 31 March 1995.