Motherhood by Joan Riley




Your Offer is sent.

Your Offer is accepted, please check your inbox.

  • Use dot instead of comma
  •     *Required Fields


Motherhood by Joan Riley (British 1920-2015)

A beautiful portrait of a young Colombian woman and child, circa 1940 and very much in the Slade School manner (the artist was a student at the Slade School from 1939-1942).

Oil on canvas, Studio Sale stamp verso (Joan Riley Studio Sale, W.H. Lane & Son, July 2016).

22" x 16"


Joan Riley was born in Barnsley, being the only child of Frank the colliery worker & Margaret a nurse. As a child she was passionate about playing the piano and at an early age gained her letters from the Royal College of Music, aged just 16. She attended a local grammar school, where as a talented student, she flourished moving eventually to Leeds Art School. There, her talents won her a scholarship, the only conferred in the whole of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Her choice was to go to the Slade School of Art in London where she was to meet her husband Cecil, to whom she married in 1942. Their marriage lasted more than 70 years and produced four children,During the Second World War the Slade was relocated to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and eventually they moved to Richmond. During their residency in Richmond they founded the Richmond Art Group which still survives to this day.

Joan had a very successful career as a commercial artist illustrating stories for women’s magazines, comic strip cartoons for children’s comics, including ‘Jacki’ and ‘The Eagle’. Joan was also a successful portrait painter receiving many commissions. She also completed a teacher training course and taught at the Gilliatt School in London.

When her husband retired they moved to Sennen Cove is West Penwith Cornwall, and became regular exhibitors and very active members of the Newlyn Society of Artist’s, with Joan holding an officer position. Joan & Cecil travelled extensively in Europe including France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. From Sennen Cove, they moved to Penzance and eventually to Marazion. During this time, Joan’s career developed as a professional artist, exhibiting in Newlyn, Brittany, Tresco & the Isles of Scilly.

1920 Born Leeds – Yorkshire
1936-38 Leeds College of Art
1939-42 Slade School – London University
1942 Married and living in Richmond Surrey – Reared four children
1952-68 Freelance commercial illustrator
1968-70 Teacher training – Whitelands-Putney
1970-72 Supply teaching – London Comprehensives
1972 A legacy enabled Joan to travel extensively in Europe
1978 Moved to Cornwall

Exhibitions included:Leicester Galleries, Penwith Gallery – St Ives, Newlyn Art Gallery, Plymouth City Art Gallery, Falmouth City Art Gallery, Piano Nobile – Richmond, Lorient Celtic Festival – France, C.C.A. Bath.

1 artwork