The son of a linen draper (born 8 November 1858, London GRO), much against his father's wishes Fletcher studied at South Kensington School of Art from age sixteen to twenty, where he won the Silver Medal and the Queen's prize. During that period he also visited Brittany and made acquaintance with Stanhope FORBES and his friends for the first time.
At Verlat's Academie Royale in Antwerp, he joined the life class and made firm friends with Frank BRAMLEY, Frederick HALL (Fred) and Walter OSBORNE. He spent some time painting at Pont-Aven and Dinan in France, befriending Frederick MILLARD (Fred) and meeting Jules BASTIEN-LEPAGE along the way. In the RA shows of 1884, he was to show four paintings executed at Pont Aven and Quimperle, three of which were immediately purchased.
He then spent eight months of 1885 in Newlyn working on a single large canvas - Dame Grigson's Academy - before leaving the artists' colony forever. Stanhope FORBES described him as 'a good friend, but morose.' He continued to travel, mainly in the rural areas of Berkshire, sometimes with Walter Osborne, and after some foreign travel married his fiancée of six years, Norah Harris. They continued to travel to such an extent that they thought of themselves as wandering artists. Finally they were to establish homes, first in Dorking (1904) where their daughter Rosamund M B FLETCHER was born, and lastly in Abingdon, near Oxford from 1915.
Fletcher died, age 77, on 27 June, 1936 at Abingdon, Oxfordshire (GRO).
Painter in oils of genre subjects
works and access
Works include: Dame Grigson's Academy (1885); Near Abingdon; Porlock
Access to work: Ashmolean, Oxford; Laing Art Gallery; Newcastle City Art Gallery; Worcester; National Gallery of Ireland; Nottingham Castle Museum; Queensland National Gallery; Bath City Corporation; Corporation of Hull Museums
Penlee House: Bosham Harbour at Low Tide (1901); RCM, Truro: Beer, Devon (1912)
RA (20) 1884
Maas Gallery, London Exhibition of Paintings and Watercolours by Blandford Fletcher 1975
Cross (1994) The Shining Sands
Fox & Greenacre (1979) Artists of the Newlyn School
Graves RA Dictionary 1769-1904
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall
Hood (1986) William Teulon Blandford Fletcher 1858-1936 A Painter of Village Life (comm by R Fletcher in memory of her father)
Newton et al (2005) Painting at the Edge;
Rezelman (1984) Newlyn Artists (microfilm, PhD thesis)
Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Ownership