Alfred Reginald Thomson 1895 - 1979

Poster artist
born in:
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

6ft 5ins tall; He was deaf, and also did not speak, his wife helping as business manager. He spoke through his brush. Conducted conversations by making lightning sketches.

Studied under painter illustrator and poster designer John Hassall [died 1948] and historical scenes/portraitist Sir William Quiller Orchardson [died 1910].

Many portrait and historical commissions. Known as ‘Tommy’ for his wartime paintings. Elected as a Royal Academician in 1945. Caricaturist and illustrator.

Paintings include the Queen and Royal Family, official war artist to the RAF, murals for Queen Mary ocean liner, House of Parliament in session, The Beatles 1964. Mural for children’s library Darlington 1974, annual Chelsea Arts Ball.

Thomson did farm training in Kent and Buckingham [Who’s who]. [Incidentally Hassall also farmed; Manitoba]. So some knowledge of his subject matter.

He based some of his mural figures on the museum curators and other staff of the time. He painted two agricultural scenes, although ten years separate them, in a decorative spare stylised manner fitting well visually with both the sculptural frieze alongside based on mediaeval figures, and his book illustrations 1956 on the history of science.