Albert Herbert 1925–2008

I know this news is a month old, but I just found out (on the website) that the poetic UK painter Albert Herbert passed away at the age of 82 last month.

Here’s a note from a Guardian report on the painter..
“Albert was a maverick, liked but seldom taken seriously by art establishments. He stopped showing at the Royal Academy when his paintings were contemptuously “skied” (hung high on the wall). His gallery, and champion for the last 20 years, was England & Co, in Notting Hill, but his subject matter was looked upon with suspicion by those holding the public art purse-strings, and there is no Albert Herbert in the Tate.”

Clive James also wrote a piece on Albert Herbert..
“Still comparatively unsung among the British modern painters, the late Albert Herbert, who was born in 1925, always dealt in that trickiest of artistic qualities, enchantment. The danger of enchantment is that it can quickly cloy, but Herbert’s version of it never did. His exquisite balancing of the areas in the painting, a poise which would be convincing even if the pictures were abstracts, depends on an infallible sense of color.”

His gallery has a lot of his work online on the England and Co. website here. The artist is quoted as saying “art is not about meanings but feelings” which makes sense when you see his paintings.

Albert Herbert - Elijah Fed by a Raven in the Desert
Albert Herbert – Elijah Fed by a Raven in the Desert ii 1991

Albert Herbert - Tree of Life
Albert Herbert – Tree of Life 1995

Albert Herbert - Adam and Eve
Albert Herbert – Adam and Eve 1990

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. I have never heard of him, so I am glad you brought his work to attention here. I like the quality of his paint, colours and style, has an outsider feel to it.

  2. Yeah, he really is a beautiful painter. I can see why he would be more of a painters painter than a famous painter. He deserves to be more famous though.

    I would LOVE to have the three paintings in this post hanging on my walls!

  3. the death of an artist is always a sad new. Why he isn’t on the Tate? Don’t UK governors promote their “own” artist’s?

    talking on other thing, The exposition you talked on the last post was in barcelona some months ago, I saw that (I am a Barcelona’s 18 year-old future Art student!!) abd ut was pretty amazing to see Matisse, Cézanne and all of them. Can you imagine living in first’XX at Paris?

    Thanx 4 the blog!

  4. Yeah, I always find it more sad when artists die Dani. Sure, it can be a little sad when famous actors, singers or notable people die, but I’m always more shocked when a great artist dies.

    Also, youre right; Paris was the happening place for art at one time. It’s interesting how the art hot spot moves from country to country.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It is the first I have heard of Albert Herbert also. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I never heard of him,…but may he rest in peace. To have painted for so long is reason enough to give the man praise. I don’t really dig Christian motifs though….. not at all really. But I like his use of color and texture.

  7. Christian art isnt my favorite genre either Ed, but I think subject matter is much less important than the paint, color or composition.

    Some painters could make manure look beautiful.. it doesnt matter what they paint, as long as they paint.. and I think Albert Herbert is one of these painters.

  8. Well when you put it like that how can I not agree? The first thing that struck me was indeed the texture, composition and color,… -Ed

  9. I was a student of Alberts’,and then a colleague and a friend.I found inspiration in his conversations and letters and in his way of working which was marvellously free despite his self-imposed perimeters.I shall miss him.


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