John Inigo Richards, RA, FSA (British, 1731–1810)
The Abbey Gatehouse, Battle Abbey, Sussex
John Inigo Richards studied art at the St Martin’s Lane Academy in London, where he was a pupil of George Lambert (1700–1765), and from 1759 he was employed as a scenery painter at Covent Garden Theatre. Best known as a topographical painter, Richards exhibited landscapes and pictures of ruins at the Society of Artists of Great Britain from 1762 and at the Free Society of Artists from 1769 to 1783. He was a Foundation Member of the Royal Academy and in 1786 was appointed Secretary. His collection of paintings, drawings and prints was sold in March 1811. Battle Abbey, a partially ruined Benedictine Abbey founded by William the Conqueror, was built on the site of the Battle of Hastings at Senlac Hill, a few miles inland. Today the Tudor manor house, built on the site by Sir Anthony Browne at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, is occupied by Battle Abbey School.
Signed l.l.: J. Richards R.A., watercolour on laid paper with a partial watermark, inscribed verso: Outside Gate Battle Abbey 1792, inscribed again by the artist on original label attached to backboard: Outside Gate of Battle Abbey, Sussex. 1792
21 x 49.6 cm; 8¼ x 19½ inches
Provenance: Ernest Leggatt of Leggatt Brothers, London, a gift to Arthur E. Francis, by descent until 2018.