(1915 – 2008)
Medaille de la France
FLS PRMS FPSBA SWA HSF
Born in India and surrounded by the vibrant colours of saris, butterflies, birds and flowers, her first love was an exquisite tropical bird. Childhood memories included a vast cloud of golden butterflies, sunset over the Himalayas and the revelation of the stars. She returned home to Devon and was sent to Roedean School and Edinburgh University.
Her mother, who believed in travel as an excellent education, then took her through Europe including language courses at Grenoble and Munich Universities. They met Hitler and were deluded by the magnificent presentation of Nazi dogma. In Berlin the illusion was dispelled by the murder of an anti-Nazi friend.
Back in Italy she sailed from Venice to join her father, posted to Egypt by the Royal Air Force. The romantic social life of the Suez Canal Headquarters town, Ismailia, ended at the outbreak of war just before she married the Director of Navigation. Under the threat of imminent German invasion she was on half-hour notice to evacuate the family. Her husband had founded the Free French Movement in Egypt leading to a dangerous flight to join General de Gaulle in London. He took part in the invasion and, after promotion to Admiral, became Governor of Brest. There she saw the devastation of a city flattened by bombs, then in contrast a liberated Paris where art lived again in extraordinary beauty and enthusiasm.
On retirement she bought an enchanted cottage where she tamed the animals and birds and began a serious art career. She was elected by the Royal Miniature Society in 1954 and, after being a constant Council Member, served as Honorary Secretary and Vice President until becoming President in 1980.
Exhibiting at the Royal Academy, Paris Salon, Royal Institute. the Linnean Society of London and, the President`s Exhibition at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, her one-man shows were at the Sladmore Gallery, Liberty`s, Atlanta U.S.A. and three at the Mall Galleries where she was a Director of the Federation of British Artists and four times a Hunting Group Prize finalist.
She was awarded thirteen Gold Medals during her eighteen years painting toadstools, promoting their beauty and interest.
Her work covers detailed pictures of plants and flowers, and in 1985 she founded the Society of Botanical Artists, of which she became President.
Her personal collection of miniatures are available for exhibition at the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers, the society of which she was a member for 50 years, and president from 1980 until her retirement in 2004, at the age of 89.
Her gold medal collection of toadstool paintings, the subject of two sumptuous illustrated volumes, entitled, In Praise Of Toadstools, published by Suzanne Lucas herself in 1992 and 1997, together with her personal collection of botanical paintings, are bequeathed in their entirety to The Lindley Library.
LOT 1. An antique diamond and enamelled gold fob modelled as a cornucopia of flowers, set with 48 rose-cut diamonds, probably Swiss early 19th Century, some damage to enamels, overall length 1.25" with Wartski box, inscribed Court Jewellers, 138 Regent Street, London W1., and at Llandudno