Rosa Branson’s story mirrors and is heavily influenced by events of the latter part of the Twentieth Century. Growing up with Communist parents in wartime Battersea saw hardships as well as a life lived against the grain, something which continued when she began her art career. Expressionism was the favoured style during her time at Camberwell and the Slade art schools, but she preferred to learn Old Master techniques at a time when they were largely out of favour. What we might call Reactionism is perhaps ironic, given her background, or perhaps it isn’t – if we reject the nostrums of our parents, what are we to do if those are of the left? Answers on a postcard, please.
What does become clear, though, is that Rosa has inspired a generation of traditionalists. It is clear from the really rather good reproduction, of her work that are included here that she is completely at ease with – and committed to – the style she has chosen.
This is a very thorough and also thoroughly affectionate account of what I think we might call a life well-lived and a person one feels instinctively one would be at home with.
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