Francis Dennis Ramsay

Francis Dennis Ramsay

Francis Dennis Ramsay

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Background & Training

A painter in the classical tradition, Francis Dennis Ramsay was born on 15 March 1925 in London of Scottish descent. He was related to the Scottish artists Allan Ramsay (1713–1784) and James Ramsay (1759–1854). Towards the end of World War II, he served in the RAF, and in 1952 he made a model of the State Coach which was, exceptionally, accepted by HM Queen Elizabeth II. This model coach was built as part of an exhibition undertaken in collaboration with Clothilde Highton GMC (Guild of Memorial Craftsmen), an Australian painter and sculptor living in Arundel, Sussex between 1946 and 1952, whose husband, an officer of the Royal Navy, had been killed in WWII. (The late)Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk gave Clothilde and Dennis the use of a room in Arundel Castle in which to carry out their work.

His formal training included reading Architecture at University College London and three years’ study in Florence (1953–1955) as a pupil of Pietro Annigoni (1910–1988), the internationally renowned grande maestro portrait painter of the 20th century (Annigoni subsequently became a godfather to Ramsay’s younger son, Justin).

He died in Melbourne on 8 February 2009.

Mediums & Technique

Ramsay’s training included drawing, both in pencil and in china ink, as well as water colour. However, much of his time as a pupil of Annigoni involved oil tempera (or tempera grassa, i.e. egg-oil) – originally a 16th century technique which entails...
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