Edward Le Bas 1904-1966

Edward Le Bas RA was a painter in oils of portraits, landscapes, still life, flowers and genre. Richly coloured and with paint boldly applied, his work owed much to early 20th Century French and English painting.


Le Bas was born in London of Anglo-French descent and educated at Harrow. Le Bas read Architecture at Cambridge University in 1924. Inspired by the two months spent with the painter Hermann Paul at Meudon, Paris, in 1922, Le Bas then studied painting at the Royal College of Art from 1924 under William Rothenstein.

As a collector, Le Bas had an extensive collection of works by the Camden Town Group, the painter Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), and of his friend Duncan Grant of the Bloomsbury Group. He amassed a major collection of twentieth century French and English modern paintings, which were exhibited in the Diploma Galleries in the Royal Academy in 1963.


As a painter, Le Bas travelled extensively and worked in Majorca, France and Morocco. His first exhibition was with the Lefevre Gallery in 1936. He was elected a member of the London Group in 1942, exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1933 and elected an RA in 1949. He was awarded the CBE in 1957 and resided in Chelsea from 1948. Edward Le Bas is represented in the collections of the Tate Gallery, the Arts Council and public collections in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

It is noted in The Art of Bloomsbury by Richard Shone that in 1946 Duncan Grant was a frequent visitor and often worked at 53 Bedford Square, the house of Edward Le Bas, and that Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Le Bas took a painting trip to Dieppe in the Autumn of 1946.