Richard Wathen



Watercolour on paper

38,5 x 28,5 cm

Unique watercolour

This work is part of our artlead series

Pick up at / ships in 5 to 10 business days from Brussels (BE)

about this work

Over the last few years, Richard Wathen started making watercolour portraits – sketches, as it were, for more refined portraits in oil. These meditative portraits, combining an expressive brushstroke with a typically saturated colour palette, quickly lost their status as a sketch and became a new series within Wathen’s painterly practice.

After three collaborations over the last two years, artlead once again invited Richard Wathen to create a series of unique watercolour portraits. This is a last chance for those who were too late then, or like to put together a diptych.

The name Eilir has its origins in the Welsh language and holds the symbolic meaning of Butterfly. In Welsh mythology, butterflies were often associated with transformation and rebirth, representing the cycle of life.




The work comes unframed, but can be framed upon order. As per the artist’s request, we frame this series in a walnut box-frame.

about Richard Wathen

Richard Wathen’s practice is rooted in the art historical tradition of portrait painting. His painted characters are fictitious – he invents figures, even typologies, in a sense. In Wathen’s earlier works, characters are depicted in a historical setting, each with its attributes. Since a few years, however, all contextualisation has disappeared. The characters appear in front of a monochrome background and only carry ‘mute’ accessories such as a flower or a glass.

Wathen’s portraits excel in ambiguity. The gender or age of his characters is unclear, but they all seem to be strongly introverted. They are sunk into a fragile state of contemplation or stare sadly ahead. Throughout several works, we recognise the same fictional characters. Wathen himself says: “I was interested in portraying someone at more than one point in their life. Like taking the cubists’ idea of multiple viewpoints and applying it to time.”



Stay up to date