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A three-quarter length portrait of the ship owner Walter Runciman. He looks directly out of the picture to meet the viewer’s gaze. A man of strong character and striking appearance he was respected throughout the shipping industry for his individualism, geniality, and kindliness. The background is appropriately plain for this life-long teetotaller. His sailing interests are indicated through the model of a sailing ship sitting on the tallboy.
A keen yachtsman, he bought ‘Sunbeam’ in 1922. Famous for the voyages of its former owner, Thomas, Lord Brassey, it was succeeded by ‘Sunbeam II’ in 1929. He was a member of several yacht clubs, commodore of the Royal Northumbrian Yacht Club and honorary commodore of the Royal Naval Volunteer Supplementary Reserve. He wrote several books about sailing ships and an autobiography, ‘Before the Mast – and After’ (1924), which offers invaluable insights into nineteenth-century life at sea. A Methodist and a lay preacher, he was created baronet in 1906, and Baron Runciman of Shoreston in 1933.
The artist trained at the Royal Scottish Academy School. He exhibited widely in Britain, including at the Royal Academy in London.
oil on canvas
H 144.2 x W 98.4 cm