Hepplestone Fine Art Gallery in Heskin, Lancashire, have received an original oil painting by Salfordian artist, Harold Riley.
The Retail Art Gallery of the Year 2016 took delivery of the rare work titled ‘Figure Study’ this week and will be displaying the painting by the end of July priced at £7,950.
Originating from Salford and returning to live there in later years, Riley was a close friend of L.S. Lowry and they regularly worked together, sharing a mutual love of Salford and the surrounding area.
He was commissioned on many occasions by the Royal Family and as such has painted Prince Phillip and the Duke of Edinburgh as well as Pope John XIII, John F Kennedy and Nelson Mandela to name a few.
Riley was renowned for rarely allowing his works to be sold, he preferred for them to be enjoyed by the masses. However, forty years ago, Blackpool born film director, Peter Chelsom, received the painting as a gift from his late mother Kay, a fine art and antiques dealer.
Over the last twenty years, the painting has graced the walls of various Hollywood production offices as it’s travelled with Peter, helping to keep him grounded and remind him of his roots.
He said: “This painting has always reminded me where I’m from. In the middle of all this film madness, I’m still a boy from Blackpool and proud of the fact! To be honest it has also kept me inspired, it is such an impactful depiction of struggle and toil and therefore a comfort amidst the battles I fight each day getting films made. I suppose you could say it’s my Churchill’s ‘Never Give Up’”
Gallery owner Giles Hepplestone is pleased to have it in the gallery. He said: “I’m sure this painting would have some stories to tell with its colourful Hollywood, past but we’re pleased to bring it back to its original birth place in the North West where hopefully it will find a new home. We welcome anyone to come and view the painting in the gallery where it will shortly be on display.”
Hepplestone now have a range of exhibitions and events to look forward to over the coming months. All details of which can be found online at http://www.hepplestonefineart.com/