Literature: Raymond Sheppard, Master Illustrator, Liss Fine Art, November 2010, cat.15
Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.307.
In October 1940 Raymond Sheppard joined the RAF – he was eventually placed for training in the School of Photography at Farnborough. This self portrait dates to the following year, in which Sheppard married Iris Gale during short leave from RAF duties.
Until 1954 Raymond Sheppard and his family lived in a small three-bedroom house in Kenton, North West London where the downstairs front room served as his studio, (and later the children’s playroom).
Had Raymond Sheppard lived beyond his mid 40s his reputation as one of the foremost illustrators of his generation might have been secured ‚Äì his premature death resulted in his name sinking into obscurity for half a century. Only his prolific career as an illustrator (nearly 100 children’s books in the single decade following the end of WW2) has pre-vented his name from disappearing altogether and secured him a credible place in the standard reference works of the period. What has never been appreciated before is the remarkable diversity of Raymond Sheppard’s oeuvre. Aside from his more familiar studies of wildlife his studio has revealed a series of remarkable portraits, thrilling boy’s-own period illustrations, plein air seascapes, landscapes, views of the Thames and surreal compositions, which at times verge on abstraction. All have in common Sheppard’s stated aim to express his inner emotion: ‚Äú…that peculiar, unexplainable tightening inside that makes you want to laugh sometimes, sometimes to sing and dance for joy, and sometimes just a little sad‚Äù