Robbie Wraith Biography

Robbie Wraith RP (Born 1952)

Robbie Wraith left school at 16 and went to study painting in Florence at the invitation of Pietro Annigoni.

He has had over thirty exhibitions in Britain, Europe, America and China. He has work in the private collection of HM The Queen as well as more than 40 pictures in the private collection of HRH The Prince of Wales, also the Royal Collection Windsor, The Vatican, Chatsworth, The National Trust, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Eton College, Blarney Castle, The MCC, Shell International, Fondazione Fremantle, C. Hoare & Co., The Honourable Society of The Middle Temple and many others.

A long list of distinguished portrait sitters has included HM The Queen, The 11th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire commissioned by HRH The Prince of Wales, The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and Nelson Mandela, (drawn while accompanying HRH The Prince of Wales to South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho).

Other work for The Prince of Wales includes two series of pictures of the house and gardens at Highgrove and a series of HMY Britannia. He painted the picture presented to Pope John Paul II to commemorate his visit to Canterbury and has painted frescoes in two churches in Italy. In 1995 he was elected to The Royal Society of Portrait Painters.

Selected mixed exhibitions have included ‘Princes as Patrons’ at the National Museum of Wales. ‘Travels with the Prince’ Hampton Court Palace, the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, The Discerning Eye, National Portrait Gallery, – and many others.

‘It is a great pleasure to write a few words of introduction to this exhibition of paintings and drawings by Robbie Wraith. He is an artist I have very much admired ever since I was lucky enough to persuade him to exhibit with us in my days at The St. James’s Art Group.

He stands in the great British tradition of meticulous and sensitive draughtsmanship. No spectator will leave a Robbie Wraith exhibition unimpressed by the combination of delicacy and authority in his drawings. As a portraitist he is much sought after, with a long record of distinguished sitters. As a painter, his interiors evoke a deeply sympathetic mood of contemplative calm. There can be few artists at work in Britain today whose work it is a greater pleasure to own’.   Henry Wyndham, Chairman, Christies

Robbie Wraith is an artist rooted in the tradition of fine art.   What he has done is to master the tools of his trade, as most artists are too impatient and too ill equipped to attempt.  Drawing is the bedrock of his art as it was for the painters of the past.  His flowing line encompasses the subtleties of modelling and tone, light and shadow.  He can draw with the utmost delicacy and finesse and yet with a tensile grasp of form.  He is above all a draughtsman who delights in the sensuous contours of the female body, which he sculpts in charcoal and soft chalks.  He draws his models with precision, and yet with a sense of their mysteriousness.  They will forever taunt him with their beauty and their sex and escape him.  His paintings, so skilfully crafted and composed are flawless in their surface textures.   Richard Ormond, Messum’s exhibition 2012