Vigilant and Valkyrie, America’s Cup 1893
|Title:||Vigilant and Valkyrie, America’s Cup 1893|
|Artist:||Richard M. Firth (b. 1971) - British|
|Detail:||Oil on canvas: 36 x 60 in. Frame: 44 x 68. Signed and inscribed on stretcher. Circa 2000|
Richard Firth is regarded as one of the world’s leading marine artists, his paintings are based on historical yacht races, including The America’s Cup which are attracting interest from art galleries all over the world and sold in the most prestigious auction houses, including Christie’s in New York and London.
Richard Firth is part of the great British Heritage of maritime artists, who sailed the high seas before becoming a master painter of its many facets. The influences from a long line of maritime masters stretching from Thomas Luny and John Wilson Carmichael, with their understanding of ships and the sea from first-hand experience, brings extra life and reality to their work.
Richard Firth also salutes the great contribution of other more recent sailor- artists, such as Thomas Somerscales and Montague Dawson who progressed maritime art, particularly in the way that light effects change when mixed with water.
His wealth of experience at sea and in the studio takes his paintings beyond photography, meaning that however accurate you make the details of a painting, it must have natural reality and movement or the painting will not come alive. Richards’s paintings are all created freehand from memory knowing how yachts sit and handle in the waters in all weather conditions.
Richard was born in Hull in 1971 and now lives on the outskirts of the city near Collingham. He has two sons who both show artistic talents and enjoy sailing. Richard had a natural talent for art at school but it was not until 1996 that he began painting after receiving inspiration from Hull’s renowned marine artist Brian Mays.
Since then Richard has specialised in Marine Paintings although he went through a brief period painting pictures of Vintage and Rally Cars with two of his motoring paintings being published as limited edition prints. Richard’s marine paintings inspired him to become a keen yachtsman, he realized that to paint accurate seascapes he would need to spend time on the high seas and learn all aspects of sailing, sea and weather conditions.
Richard’s first sailing experience was on the Humber and East Coast of England. He then went on to sailing on the Solent and competing in the Round the Island Yacht Race for several years. In July 2010 the finish of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was held on Hull Marina, tens of thousands of people lined the banks of the Humber and the quayside to welcome home the crews after a ten month challenge and this inspired Richard to take part in the next race.
Richard entered the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 2012 after extensive training, Crossing the 3390 miles of the South Atlantic Ocean from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town in 18 grueling days on the winning clipper ‘Gold Coast’. This voyage became the most exhilarating and rewarding sailing experience of Richard’s life and sets him on course to become the worlds leading marine artist in his lifetime.