From Saint Bride’s

David R. THOMAS (London, 1916 - London, 1990)

Biography



David Thomas was born in London in 1916 and studied at the Chelsea School of Art in 1931. He worked as a waiter in Covent Garden before embarking on a series of adventures that found him working as a pavement artist in London and Paris and travelling around the world on a tramp steamer, before being shipwrecked off Cape Town in South Africa. He also undertook four further voyages by sea as a member of the ship’s orchestra on P & O ships. Following service in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War, Thomas returned to art school for a further four years, and in later years showed regularly at the Summer Exhibitions at the Royal Academy. Active as a topographical artist, Thomas painted views of London, Rome, Venice and Istanbul.

In 1981 Thomas travelled to Israel under the patronage of the art collector and stockbroker Edgar Astaire. There he painted views of Jerusalem based on the 19th century lithographs of the city by David Roberts; the twenty paintings he produced during this stay were exhibited, alongside the lithographic prints by Roberts that inspired them, at the Ben Uri Art Gallery in London in 1982. The following year, an exhibition of Thomas’s work was mounted at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London.