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Ploughed Earth
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

Ploughed Earth 1970

Anthony Rossiter (1926–2000)

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

Artist, writer and teacher obsessed by mystical intimations which he found in everyday things and landscape. He was born, with his elder twin Geoffrey, in London into comfortable circumstances. At Eton College he developed as an artist and was an outstanding field and track sportsman. Rossiter was commissioned in the Welsh Guards and while inspecting a cookhouse in Greece “sensed a transcendental state of glory”. He felt “as if the secrets of the world had been unfolded before me, and I was walking with God in the Garden of Eden.” Rossiter was put in a straitjacket, suffered a nervous breakdown and a femoral thrombosis which temporarily deprived him the use of his legs and was invalided out of the Army in 1947. He studied at Chelsea Polytechnic under Henry Moore and Robert Medley, 1947–51; taught at St Andrew’s School, Pangbourne, and became absorbed by landscape painting; in 1955 joined the staff of Millfield School, but was still in and out of hospital; then in 1957 married Anneka Oving, a Dutch nurse, who provided stability for Rossiter to flourish as a painter in the Mendip Hills and to teach at the Royal West of England Academy (later the Bristol Polytechnic), 1960–83.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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