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Charles Ricketts RA (1866-1931)

Charles Ricketts, RA (1866-1931)

Charles Ricketts was one of the leading exponents of Aestheticism, devoting ‘tout pour l’art’ as a creator, critic and collector. In his own work, he proved particularly groundbreaking in the areas of book production and stage design, though he was also a significant painter, sculptor and writer.
Charles Ricketts was born in Geneva on 2 October 1866, the son of a retired English naval officer, who painted marine subjects, and the daughter of the marquis de Soucy. He spent most of his early years in Switzerland and France, and was educated mainly by governesses. Following the death of his mother, in Genoa in 1880, he returned to London with his father and sister, though his father died three years later, and left him in the care of his paternal grandfather. By then, he had entered South London School of Technical Art, where he met his lifelong companion, Charles Shannon; their studies included wood-engraving, under Charles Roberts, and life drawing.

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