NEWS | Mon, 05 Jul 2021

Another Palmerston Folly painting

Solent Fort and Helicopter (1953)

Around 1860 four sea forts were built across the Solent, the stretch of water between the mainland and the Isle of Wight. They were designed, along with other land based forts, to protect Portsmouth harbour, home of the Royal Navy, from French attack. By the time the construction was complete the threat had receded and they became known as Palmerston's follies after the prime minister of that era.

We have known about two paintings of the forts by Richard for some time - Solent Fort (1936) and Solent Fort (1954). We also had a record of another one with the intriguing title of 'Solent Fort and Helicopter' but without a photo we had no idea what to expect. The guessing is over. The collector has got in touch and sent us a very clear picture of it. Thank you!

You can hear the wind and feel the waves - another fine example of Richard's handling of sea and sky.

We think it depicts Spitbank Fort, the nearest of the four forts to the shore. The structure has been converted into a luxury hotel.  

Helicopters feature in several of Richard's seascapes.