Portrait of a young girl, circa 1940
Unmounted (ref: 5645)
5 x 4 1/2 in. (12.7 x 11.5 cm)
Provenance: with the artist until 1980; thereafter with his son.
Rhoades was a committed and talented printmaker, particularly as a wood engraver. Over a long period he consistently produced Christmas family greeting cards in this medium, having them printed by the Oxford University Press. Many of the blocks for these and other prints still exist. During the late 1940's and early '50's he worked on a series of multi-coloured lino cuts. The artist's son, himself well-known as a silk screen print maker, recalls that Geoffrey won a prize for one of his lino cuts in an open competition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
In addition to printmaking Rhoades was a painter in oil, watercolour and a variety of graphic media, and also a very successful and loved teacher. Born in London, Rhoades studied painting at Clapham Art School 1915-7, then after World War I service in the Mercantile Marine attended the Slade School of Fine Art under Henry Tonks 1919-23. His landscapes, figure studies and flower paintings reflect his love of natural history and interest in the classical world. When Rhoades left the Slade Tonks said: "You've something I haven't - imagination," and Rhoades' inner life did nourish his work throughout his career. His pictures are unmistakeably English in their understatedness. In the mid-1920s Rhoades completed murals and other work for the owners of Stoke Rochford House, in Lincolnshire. During the Second World War, he lived close to and was friends with the group of artists, including Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden, who moved to Great Bardfield in Essex. He held a series of teaching posts, notably at the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford, 1953-72. He exhibited at the NEAC, RI and Goupil Gallery and had one-man shows at Maltzahn Gallery, Ashmolean Museum, Mall Galleries and Sally Hunter Fine Art, 1987. The Tate Gallery, Ashmolean Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and provincial galleries hold his work. He lived in Cuddington, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.