When we first saw one of Robert Arthur Bramwell's sketches poking out of some tatty cardboard folder at an auction, we knew we'd struck gold! We had no idea the amount of work (and painting materials/equipment) we would later come home with but we are mighty pleased we did. We purchased two big folders of Robert’s work back in May 2016 and were told he had recently passed away.
Ever since, we’ve made numerous attempts to find out more about the artist but without any luck. In May 2017 we found a phone number on a delivery note attached to some art supplies addressed to Robert. We decided to give it a ring but unfortunately, the number was no longer in use. Once again we had hit a dead end and were resigned to the fact that we may never know anything about him. Later that day Robert’s daughter, Rebecca sent us an e-mail!!! She was browsing Etsy and came across her dad’s drawings in our store and told us everything we’d always wondered. She was even kind enough to share several photos of Mr Bramwell with us.
Born in Chesterfield on 14th November 1934, Robert studied painting at Newcastle in the late 50s and moved to Chester where he worked as an art teacher. Robert later took early retirement, moving first to Liverpool and then to Carlisle about 15 years ago to be nearer family. Sadly he contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos which was the unfortunate cause of his death on 7th March 2016. Having been surrounded by Robert’s drawings on a daily basis, we’ve become somewhat unknowingly attached to this man whom we’ve never met while also forming a deep-rooted respect and appreciation for his work.
Rebecca told us he was a very modest man and therefore his work was never brought to light. So, you can imagine how pleased we were to tell her that his drawings have been sent all over the world with nothing but great things said about them. This pencil portrait which we have had professionally mounted and framed is signed 'RA Bramwell' and dated '25 March 54'.
There is a real melancholy feel and vulnerability to Robert’s work and he has such a refined and unique style that we are huge admirers of, in case it wasn’t obvious already. We feel these pieces are sketches and he most likely never intended for them to be proudly displayed like we have done. As such, there are some bent corners, discolouring to the paper and marks/smudges elsewhere to the white space.
approximately 50cm wide, 63cm tall and 2cm deep while the drawing itself measures approximately 30cm wide and 45.5cm tall