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Richard Ernst Eurich, OBE, RA had a long association with Hampshire and is well known for his paintings of the Solent. An Official War Artist to the Admiralty, his work is represented in numerous national collections. This painting was purchased from a retrospective exhibition at the SSU Millais Gallery in 2003. In his later years he retired to Hampshire and spent many afternoons on visits to the south coast. It was from the Solent that Richard Eurich derived his most enduring inspiration, returning day after day to sit and watch, analyse and note the 'structure' of the water and the weather.
His daughter Caroline Toppin, recalls her memory of his working practice: "… In ‘retirement’ my parents, Richard and Mavis, would drive to Lepe Beach and sit in the car just observing. Sometimes there would be the activity of people and dogs to amuse them, or bait-diggers at low tide, or the rhythms of stones, sea and sky ever changing. On this occasion, the drama was in yachts racing off Cowes, driven unusually close to the shore at Lepe by strong winds. He captures the moment, conveying the excitement in the apparent speed of execution, and movement of brushstrokes. This style can be seen in other works but perhaps not to such a degree. It is almost breathless, sensing the danger the yachts are in, in such close proximity, catching it before they were gone. In spite of the immediacy of the painting, it would have been done back in the studio. He never painted in situ. He might have made a quick sketch in a tiny notebook, but he had a remarkable visual memory which stored images sometimes for years, to be used later, charged with all the imagination of 'emotion recollected in tranquillity'."
oil on board
H 29.2 x W 64.8 cm
purchased from the Contemporary Art Society, 2003