Hugh Krall (b.1924), an architect and artist who has died at the age of 96, attended my Friday Printmaking class at Heatherleys for 18 years (from 1992 -2010). A resident of Chelsea, he had built his own house near Cheyne Walk, having previously lived on a houseboat. The River Thames was the main source of Hugh’s inspiration. He beautifully conveyed bridges, boats, buildings and churches in the manner of Whistler. I was always impressed by his confident draftsmanship and how naturally he took to etching on copper and zinc, engraving and relief printing on wood and lino. His work is always highly resolved and professionally presented. Strongly linear, it combines topographical accuracy and sensitivity to atmosphere. His prints reflect times of the day, often involving watercolour-like effects created through the use of aquatint. Hugh loved his time at Heatherleys. In 2015 Hugh’s exhibition “The Changing River at Chelsea” (almost a retrospective) was held by The Chelsea Society at The Gallery, Cadogan Gardens and afterwards at Heatherleys where it was enjoyed by all including Principal Emeritus John Walton (who Hugh affectionately teased was two years younger than him). John has several of his prints, which he admires. Although professionally a successful architect, as my student he was always modest and frequently said there was room for improvement. Many reproductions of his watercolours and prints have become popular cards reproduced by The Chelsea Society (of which he was Honorary Secretary). I will treasure the delightful hand-printed cards I received from him over the years. He was always generous in his support for Heatherleys, donating watercolours and prints for our bursaries. He will be greatly missed.
Head of Printmaking
Copyright estate of Hugh Krall 2020