Striding man 1
Striding man 1 1962
Robert Oliffe Gage Richmond was born in 1919 in Hobart, fifth child of a farmer from England, and his Tasmanian-born wife. Richmond attended The Friends’ School in New Town after the family’s move there in 1929 and here he excelled at athletics, cricket, rowing and football, and won a prize for pencil sketching. After studying art and applied art at Hobart Technical College he worked for Amos Vimpany, Hobart’s most prominent stonemason, in whose workshop he learned much about materials, tools and methods of carving. He was also influenced by the progressive idea of the New Zealand-born sculptor Alison Duff.
Following his discharge from service in the army during World War Two, he enrolled at the Easy Sydney Technical College to study sculpture under Lyndon Dadswell. In 1948 he won a New South Wales government travelling scholarship. Travelling England, he was attached to the Royal Collect of Art, London, but soon set off for private study in Europe. Returning to England, he worked as Henry Moore’s assistant until 1951 when he succeeded him as a teacher in sculpture at the Chelsea School of Art. Although he occasionally helped Moore to work on major pieces, Richmond began to build his own career as a sculptor of highly textured figurative bronzes. These expressed intense human energy and inner tension and were described by Dadswell as ‘heroic and monumental’.