Herbert Howells


Object name
painter (artist): Boden, Leonard
Object number
Commissioned for the RCM by Mr Peter Morrison, 1974.


Herbert Howells (1892–1983) entered the Royal College of Music in 1912 on an open scholarship to study composition with Stanford, where he was considered outstanding, even in a class that included Arthur Bliss, Arthur Benjamin and Ivor Gurney. He later returned as a professor, teaching composition and harmony from 1920–1978. He formed a close relationship with Stanford who described Howells as his 'son in music'. His music combined the influences of Tudor polyphony and the music of Elgar and Vaughan Williams with rich harmonic writing that reflects his acquaintance with Ravel, particularly in the instrumental works, which have won wide posthumous appreciation.

Leonard Boden RP (1911–99) trained at the Glasgow School of Art. One of the most distinguished British portrait artists of the twentieth century, Boden's technique was to put the sitter at their ease with relaxed conversation. He was the only artist for whom Pope Pius XII sat, and he completed no less than 10 portraits of the Queen, who frequently confessed to preferring Boden's portrayals of her above all others. Boden was brought up to love music, and above all opera. He numbered many musicians among his friends: those whom he painted include Tito Gobbi (displayed in the Britten Theatre Foyer), and Sir John Barbirolli.


737 x 615 mm

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