THIS painting is a little bit special. It depicts a scene from Henley Royal Regatta from the late 19th century and is based on a photograph.
It was painted by Raymond Ramsey, an artist who lives in Downderry, Cornwall, after his father-in-law discovered a box of glass negatives in the loft of a house he was demolishing.
Raymond, who is interested in the history of photography, discovered the black and white negatives covered many places of interest but the one that stood out was the photograph of the regatta.
After much thought, he decided that it would make a unique colour painting of an event that took place so long ago. The painting had to be quite large to capture the detail and atmosphere of the event. After a little research with Upper Thames Rowing Club and Leander, Raymond discovered the cottage in the background is Old Blades on Remenham Road, which has changed considerably since the photograph was taken.
It was suggested to him that the umpire’s steam launch is Eupatoria in which case it would date the photo to 1886, the only year it was used at the regatta.