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Richard Phené Spiers

Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire

The Painting

A watercolour measuring 14½" x 10¼". Signed R. Phene Spiers.

About the Artist

Richard Phené Spiers (1838-1916) was a highly-respected architect with a private practice in London, also known for his paintings of architectural views. He was born in Oxford and trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and in the office of Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt. He was President of the Architectural Association in 1867-8, Master of the Royal Academy Architecture School from 1870, and Surveyor of the Royal Academy from 1877. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He published several books on architecture, from Architectural Drawing in 1887 to On Japanese Roofs in 1911. He exhibited 98 works at the Royal Academy including views of buildings in Rouen, Nuremberg, Pisa, Paris and Athens. He exhibited 21 watercolours of buildings at the Society of British Artists in Suffolk Street.

The Subject

Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire. Tattershall Castle, in the care of the National Trust, is an important surviving 15th century red-brick castle rising dramatically above the Lincolnshire countryside. It was built by Ralph Cromwell, Lord Treasurer of England, in 1434-1447 as a display of his wealth and power in unstable times. It went through many phases in its long history, from a palatial dwelling to a cattle shed and a romantic ruin. When it was put up for sale in 1910 the huge medieval fireplaces were ripped out. Lord Curzon of Kedleston stepped in at the eleventh hour to buy the Castle and he restored it, including putting back the medieval fireplaces. He left it to the National Trust on his death in 1925. This painting shows Tattershall Castle before Lord Curzon undertook the restorations of 1911-1914.

Richard Phene Spiers - Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire