Finney, Hubert Arthur

(1905 – 1991)

Self Portrait


SKU: 10058

Signed. Pencil with highlights in white chalk on paper.

Height: 48.5cm
Width: 38cm

1 in stock


The Artist’s Estate; Private collection


A reclusive figure whose work has remained largely unseen Finney studied under Eric Gill before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in the early 1920’s; his closest were Charles Mahoney,(1903-1968), Gerald Ososki (1903-1981) and Barnett Freedman (1901-1958) . All four appear together in Freedman’s group portrait, The Stanhope Street Group (1926).  Finney had the good fortune to attend the RCA as part of a generation that were to become amongst Britains best loved artists (Ravilious, Bawden, Hepworth, Moore, Dunbar, Sorrell, Piper etc).

Equally versatile when working on canvas or  paper his compositions are characterised by a distinctive use of colour and design, similar in many ways to that of Ravilous, through which everyday scenes and topography are transformed through an underlying sense of pattern. Finney’s work is saturated with a the aesthetic now much associated with the mid-century  Recording Britain project.

After a travelling scholarship to Rome in 1924 Finney took a teaching post to work alongside Percy Jowett at Chelsea School of Art and later Reading University.  During WW2 he served in the Civil Defense.

Extracts from his unpublished diary, which  give a colourful first hand account of his life, are due to be published in 2021 in the context of  a touring museum show.

We are grateful to Nicholas Finney for assistance. 

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Finney, Hubert Arthur

1905 – 1991

Hubert Arthur Finney was a painter, draughtsman and teacher who trained initially at Bromley School of Art, where he attended evening classes from 1915, and then at Beckenham School of Art to where he won a trade scholarship in 1918. He studied painting with Amy Katherine Browning and etching with Eric Gill. Around 1927 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where he studied under William Rothenstein. Horton, Houthuesen, Ososki and Freedman were amongst his friends at the college. In 1929 after graduation he took up a travelling scholarship to Rome returning to teach part-time at Chelsea School of Art under Percy Jowett and later Harold Sandys Williamson. From 1927-1934 he exhibited at the NEAC. In 1935 his painting Mother and Child was acquired by Carlisle Art Gallery. During WW2 Finney worked for the light rescue service of the Civil Defense. After the war he taught part time under Anthony Betts at Reading University and was in charge of life drawing there when he retired in 1970. Although he was reclusive and reluctant to show his work he did exhibit at the RA Summer exhibition (in 1950 and 1954) and the Portrait Society and at The Paris Salon. A large solo exhibition took place at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Education in 1964.

We are grateful to Nicholas Finney and David Buckman for assistance.


Hubert Arthur Finney
Still life with onion and peppers, circa 1966
Hubert Arthur Finney
Light drawing away darkness. 1950’s
Hubert Arthur Finney
The Yacht Race on Lake Michigan, 1966
Hubert Arthur Finney
Life boats and deck at night, set of 8 lithographs, 1930’s
Hubert Arthur Finney
Houses and Woods
Hubert Arthur Finney
A British Red Cross Society Volunteer 1941
Hubert Arthur Finney
Self-portrait by Studio Window, circa 1948
Hubert Arthur Finney
Firework Display on Hampstead Heath, 1934
Hubert Arthur Finney
Portrait of a Woman, circa 1920
Hubert Arthur Finney
Langford; view through a window – (second year composition)
Hubert Arthur Finney
Madonna with Attendant Angel, circa 1950
Hubert Arthur Finney
Self Portrait, c.1960