Julia Heseltine obituary


My son-in-law’s mom, Julia Heseltine, who has died aged 89, was an artist whose portraiture accompanied a profitable, lifelong profession producing work in a wide range of types. Her topics included Joan Plowright and Ted Hughes, in addition to coastal and rural scenes. Her work has appeared within the Royal Academy and lots of regional galleries.

Julia was born in St Pancras, London, to Man Heseltine, a military colonel, and Anna Zinkeisen. Anna and her sister, Julia’s aunt, Doris, had been vastly productive and sometimes modern artists, notably within the Nineteen Twenties and 30s but additionally for many years after that. They labored in illustration, portraiture, design, trend, movie and theatre. As a younger lady, Julia helped her mom within the studio, the extra so when expelled from Heathfield faculty, in Ascot, Berkshire, aged 14. She went to the Chelsea Faculty of Artwork, on to Byam Shaw Faculty of Artwork and, lastly, to the Royal Academy Colleges. Whereas on the RA (1952-57) she picked up a silver medal from the Paris Salon. It was additionally the place she met the sculptor Anthony Weller, with whom she subsequently shared a studio. They had been married in 1962.

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Sunday Morning, Southwold, 2008. Illustration: Julia Heseltine

Chelsea within the 50s and 60s was a spotlight for bohemian response to postwar austerity. Julia remembered attempting to finish a fee as folks partied on the roof. Regardless of the distractions, her work appeared in lots of London galleries and went into non-public collections within the UK and overseas. From the start, she took on portrait commissions in addition to industrial artwork, and throughout the portraits she usually launched semi-abstract views of nature.

Within the 60s, Julia’s mom was dwelling and dealing in Looms Cottage in Burgh, Suffolk, and Julia and Anthony visited usually. Julia’s son, Sam, was born in 1970 and the household moved to the cottage after Anna’s demise in 1976. Later, they moved to Tuddenham in the identical county. Julia’s studio was busy with each commissioned work and her personal portraits and landscapes. Her work developed an more and more surreal, usually dreamlike, depth. Over time, in addition they developed a major connection to Suffolk and its folks, exploring the county’s life with a penetrating humour.

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Julia Heseltine with Laurence Olivier on the set of the 1970 movie of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, for which Heseltine produced work

Julia and Anthony separated in 1981, and he died 10 years later. Julia was with the illustrator Jerry Malone for a few years; he died in 2012. She remained near his kids, Dan, Bec and Justin. Julia continued to color daily in her Tuddenham studio till the previous few months of her life. Her granddaughter, Bonnie, discovered to color at her granny’s knee, simply as Sam did at his mom’s and he or she at hers.

Julia is survived by Sam and Bonnie.


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