Richard Jack

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Richard Jack
Richard Jack

(1866-02-15)15 February 1866
Died30 June 1952(1952-06-30) (aged 86)
EducationYork School of Art, Royal College of Art, Académie Julian, Académie Colarossi
Known forPainting
MovementBritish Impressionism
Awards1886 National Scholarship to the Royal College of Art
1888 Royal College of Art gold medal
Richard Jack-The Taking of Vimy Ridge (CWM 19710261-0160).jpg

Richard Jack RA RI (15 February 1866 – 30 June 1952) was a painter of portraits, figure subjects, interiors and landscapes, and prominent war artist for Canada.


Jack was born 15 February 1866 in Sunderland, County Durham, United Kingdom. [1] He studied at York School of Art before winning a national scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1886. There he won a gold medal and in 1888 a travelling scholarship to the Académie Julian. On his return to London in the early 1890s, he worked for a time on the staff of The Idler and for Cassell's Magazine as a black-and-white artist. He was awarded a silver medal at the 1900 Paris International Exhibition and at the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh in 1914. Jack was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Arts in February 1914 and a full Academician in 1920 and his Diploma Work, in the RA archives, is an oil painting of his daughter Doris and the family dog entitled On The Moors.

In 1916, he accepted a commission in the Canadian Army to paint for the Canadian War Records Office, becoming Canada's first official war artist. Two large paintings were commissioned by Lord Beaverbrook: The Second Battle of Ypres, 22 April to 25 May 1915, and The Taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday 1917. Both paintings are currently on permanent display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.[2] His large oil Return to the Front showing a crowded troop train at Victoria Station, London hangs in York Art Gallery.

A portrait of King George V, commissioned by the Metropolitan Borough of Fulham, was later bought by the monarch himself.[3] He subsequently painted portraits of Queen Mary, King Alphonso of Spain, and various interiors at Buckingham Palace.[citation needed] In the 1920s Jack became fond of Canada, making several visits there with his family. After his daughter met and married the Ottawan businessman Victor Whitehead, Jack and his wife moved to Montreal. Inspired by Canadian scenery, particularly the Rockies, Jack took to landscape paintings, as well as portraits.[4]

More than 40 Richard Jack paintings hang in UK public collections including one of composer Colin McAlpin in the collection of the Leicester Arts and Museums Service.[5]

He died Monday, June 30, 1952.[6]


  1. ^ "Richard Jack Memorial". Canada, Find A Grave Index. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Land Battles". Canadian War Museum. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Richard Jack (1866-1952) - King George V (1865-1936)". Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Mr. Richard Jack." Times [London, England] 2 July 1952: 8. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 26 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Colin McAlpin (1870–1942)". ArtUK. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Funeral Is Held For Richard Jack." The Gazette [Montreal, Canada] 3 July 1952: 23. Web. 04 Jun 2022.

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