Sir William Russell Flint

Two Models in a Studio (1920)

About this artwork

This vibrantly coloured watercolour was painted as Russell Flint was approaching the height of his career. The subject matter of naked or semi-naked women was one for which the artist was renowned. Russell Flint worked as a lithographer early in his career, and his skill as a draughtsman is evident in his use of line and mastery of pattern. In this painting the plate, robe and backdrop are particularly detailed. The painting is also influenced by the artist’s early academic training, with the poses of the models suggesting the stylized poses seen on classical friezes. The portfolios and plate of apples, perhaps to be used as the subject for a still life, suggest an artist’s studio.

Sir William Russell Flint

Sir William Russell Flint

Edinburgh-born William Russell Flint is best known for his watercolours of naked, nubile women. He began his career as an apprentice lithographer in Edinburgh, moving to London in 1900 where he worked as a medical illustrator and later as a magazine illustrator. During the First World War Russell Flint worked with the Admiralty, finally being appointed to an Airship Station on the Clyde. After the War he became a full-time artist and was often inspired by Greek and Roman themes. A supremely gifted watercolourist, he became President of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour in 1936. His work remains highly popular today in colour reproductions.