Glynn Boyd Harte Collection

Glynn Boyd Harte portrait

This series of paintings by the artist and illustrator Glynn Boyd Harte (1948-2003) was commissioned by Jeremy Dixon and Edward Jones, architects of the Royal Opera House redevelopment. The paintings, which depict the redevelopment and restoration of the theatre between 1997 and 1999, were exhibited to celebrate the theatre's re-opening. This commission was part of a series of paintings of millennium projects under construction, which Boyd Harte exhibited at the Museum of London in 2000.

Glynn Boyd Harte's painting of the Piazza constructionBoyd Harte was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, and graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1973, where he was taught by the illustrator Brian Robb. Following his first solo exhibition at London’s Thumb Gallery in 1976, Boyd Harte subsequently exhibited at the Francis Kyle, New Academy and Curwen galleries in London, and also at galleries in Paris and New York.

During his career he illustrated countless book jackets, books and magazines. Before abandoning portraiture in 1980, his subjects included playwright Tom Stoppard, composer Brian Eno and composer Virgil Thompson, who later dedicated a piano piece to the artist entitled ‘Glynn Boyd Harte Reaching’. After this time watercolour became Boyd Harte's preferred medium, which he applied in the detailed illustrative manner demonstrated by the paintings in this collection.

Boyd Harte's painting of the domeBoyd Harte also revived lithography as a medium for book illustration, using the technique for John Betjeman’s ‘Metro-land’ (1977) and Gavin Stamp’s ‘Temples of Power’ (1979). The latter was a set of lithographs of London power stations, reflecting the artist’s lifelong passion for architecture.

As an accomplished pianist, composer and cabaret performer, Boyd Harte frequently collaborated on pantomimes for the Arts Workers’ Guild, of which he was a prominent member. He was also widely travelled, and wrote and illustrated books on his excursions in Venice and France.