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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 193

Date:- 27 March 2005

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THE lifetime's work of Merseyside gentlewoman artist, the late Patricia Rhodes, will go under the hammer for the first time at Bonhams Chester on 4 April. Hundreds of oil paintings and sketches, some of which were exhibited in salons around Europe, were discovered at the spinster's Victorian family home in Blundellsands. Patricia 'Trish' Rhodes died earlier this year aged 89.

Around 40 floral, still life and landscape studies, some of which have never been exhibited, will also be sold. This includes oil paintings recently exhibited at the Paris Salon, mainly bright decorative flower pieces, which are the dominant theme of the whole collection, as well as a variety of city and rural landscapes.

Patricia Rhodes' oils were exhibited in galleries throughout England, Monte Carlo, Rome and Biarritz, winning many awards and a prestigious entry in the Dictionary of International Biography. 

Bonhams' Chester-based picture specialist Emma Sykes said:- "We expected to find some paintings but hardly three large rooms absolutely crammed with work completed over many years. The sale will present a good opportunity for the art world to acquire pictures by a respected local artist coming to the market for the first time. "

The artist's wealthy and philanthropic father William was founder of the Merseyside Stevedores "WHR Rhodes and Son," who serviced the world's great merchant fleets during the port's halcyon days. Patricia Rhodes enjoyed a privileged childhood, travelling to picnics in the family's chauffeur-driven Bentley and gracious living, surrounded by magnificent gardens, later to provide inspiration for many of her floral paintings.

Educated at Calder College, followed by Finishing school in Montreaux, the 'independent but quiet and rather shy' Miss Rhodes later studied art at Liverpool University and embarked on a life as a gentlewoman painter. "Patricia loved painting. Even as a child she drew the most beautiful horses," recalls her younger sister Pamela Leah, now 83. "She progressed to floral studies, still life and landscapes, some of North Wales and, of course, the Mersey.   I think she even had an abstract period in the Sixties. My sister painted for pleasure, she didn't need to work. Only in later years, when she wanted money for a something special, did she sell a painting, probably through an agent."

She retained an interest in art until her death, enrolling at a local class to study life painting aged 87. "Patricia may have seemed a little shy, but she had a real sense of humour. She must have done to start painting nudes at that age," quipped her sister.

Continental Market at Croxteth Hall

A Liverpool stately home will feature a ‘Taste of Europe’ on Easter Monday when the popular Continental Market returns to Croxteth Hall, former home of the Earls of Sefton.

The market will give shoppers an opportunity to experience the taste, sights and smells of an authentic continental market, along with the opportunity to buy something extra special for Easter. The Market will run from 11am until 4pm, admission is free.

The market follows on from successful events which have taken place at Croxteth over the past 3 years, each attracting thousands of visitors. Again it will feature over 40 stalls, offering over 200 metres of market frontage. On sale will be a range of produce including fruit, vegetables, cheeses, craft items, candles, jams, conserves and preserves. The public will also have the opportunity to sample many of these items in the continental tradition before buying. The traders will also offer hot food to take away, including Bavarian Sausage, Potatoes Provençal, Crêpes and Baguettes and much more.

The event is organised by markets specialists Geraud Markets Liverpool Limited, in conjunction with Liverpool City Council.

Liverpool City Councillor and Executive Member for Green Issues, Richard Oglethorpe, said:- “Both my family and I really enjoyed the Christmas event. The children particularly enjoyed the German sausage stall and the Potatoes Provençal; they certainly hope to see them again this time”.

Groupe Geraud Chief Executive, Andy Burnett, said:- “We are glad to be back. So far, we have been warmly welcomed to the city and our traders were pleased when we announced the date of the event. We would like also to take his opportunity to thank the public for their overwhelming support for our events in the past – long may it continue.”

Croxteth Hall & Country Park is one of the North West’s most popular tourist attractions, with something for all the family. In addition to the Market, Edwardian Croxteth Hall will be open, a substantial mansion house that was previously the home of the Earls of Sefton. The Park also has a beautiful Victorian Walled Garden and a visitor farm featuring Rare Farm Breeds. The Country Park is Liverpool’s largest and has acres of heritage landscape, woodlands, ponds and pasture. The Park features Merseyside’s largest events programme, with over 200 events, including the Continental Market. The Hall, Farm and Walled Garden attract over 150,000 visits every year.

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