From 1960 to 1981 Francis Hewlett was Head of Painting at Falmouth College of Art, a vital
figure in promoting the artistic and academic achievements of the College.
teaching and administration with his own painting, and later with ceramic sculpture,
working three-dimensionally with images he had developed as a painter. His paintings of
Cornwall made during this period and following his retirement from teaching are an
important contribution to the artistic heritage of the region.
His innovative sculpture
gained considerable renown for its technical bravura as well as for its iconoclastic
From the moment he left school Francis Hewlett dedicated his life to art. This was a
surprising choice for a boy raised in difficult circumstances in Bristol, with no artistic
background. His exceptional early talent as a draughtsman gained him a place at Bristol
College of Art, and then at the most prestigious art school in the land, the Slade School of
Art in London.
In 1952 he also won a national art competition which earned him a year's
study in Paris, all expenses paid.The drawings he made during these student years were
of such informed intensity that he was able to use them to make remarkable paintings
over thirty years later.
Throughout his life Hewlett remained a committed realist, against the tide of fashion.
In his diaries he mused on the role of the artist and on the nature of his own art: ‘I see the
artist as an observer, trying to put the facts as he sees them in a picture, in as unbiased a
way as possible, with a sort of visual egalitarianism about those facts, none emphasised,
none suppressed... I paint figurative paintings, sometimes from nature, sometimes from
drawings, but always with the same intent of drawing a recognisable object and finding
the essential geometry embedded in the object observed.’ It is the extraordinary ‘realness’
of his art that guarantees its longevity.
Containing over 200 paintings and drawings by the artist, along with photographs of
his sculptural works, the majority never before published, this superbly illustrated book
charts Francis Hewlett's development as an artist from indefatigable draughtsman
and teacher to dedicated painter of the major series of Bristol Empire and Notre Dame
Devon-based author, artist and art historian, Jenny Pery has written numerous titles on
British art, including books on Anthony Eyton, Benedict Rubbra, Daphne Todd, Tristram Hillier,
Claude Rogers, Solomon J. Solomon, John Dodgson, Caziel, Edward Piper, Robert Organ and
Imprint: Halstar. ISBN 978 1 906690 54 0, hardback, 238x258mm, 144 pages. Published October 2014.