“Twilight at The Prestwould”
Last fall a Richmond resident, Pam Royall, contacted me and requested that I do a painting of The Prestwould Building as a surprise holiday gift for her husband Bill. The Royalls reside on the fourth floor in the South Tower of the building (units 4A and 4B) and she thought the painting would be a fitting gift. I visited the property in the historic Fan District of Richmond and viewed the building during midday. I found two dramatic perspectives and prepared sketches of both. While either would make a handsome painting I felt that the scene could be improved upon later in the day. I envisioned the painting from a position in Monroe Park as the last warm rays of the setting sun would illuminate the upper ramparts of the towers as twilight settles over the lower facade of the building. Flickering gaslights punctuate the streets and park in the foreground. Pam chose this version for the painting.
In the early 20th century, the rise of the elevator and the availability of steel and concrete made high-rise apartment living possible. It evoked a glamorous lifestyle many associated with New York City. Work on The Prestwould, Richmond’s last luxury high-rise apartment building to be built before the Great Depression, wrapped up in 1929. Alfred Charles Bossom, an English architect with an office on New York’s Fifth Avenue, had designed the 12-story structure, located just west of Belvidere. The Prestwould was a crown jewel among the city’s high-rise apartments. Shortly after completing the plans for The Prestwould, Bossom returned to England.
Oil on linen 16” x 10” Overall framed 23 ½” x 17 ½”
JMB December 2018
TAGS : Custom Paintings