Lancelot Ribeiro was born in Goa in 1933 and came to England in 1950, following in the footsteps of his half-brother Francis Newton Souza, who had arrived in London a year earlier. In London Souza pursued a career in the arts whilst Ribeiro studied accountancy, painting and drawing in his spare time. Towards the end of the 1950s and after extensive travel within Europe Ribeiro returned to Bombay and took up painting professionally. Whilst in India Ribeiro held numerous exhibitions and his work received plaudits from the local artistic community.
In 1962 Ribeiro returned to London and exhibited extensively, doing much for the reputation of Indian artists working in Britain. It is interesting to note that much of Souza’s and Ribeiro’s work from the 50s and 60s was similar in style and subject. Similarities which can be observed when one compares Ribeiro’s Townscape at Night with Souza’s Red Landscape (a work by F.N. Souza in Saffronart’s December online auction).
‘His heavily lined portraits and especially the townscapes are sombre and disturbing, their dark backgrounds and crazy involved lines of the buildings are like a nightmare vision of the modern city.’ Barbara Wright, The Art Review, November 1964.
During the 1970s Ribeiro experimented with new technology surrounding the use of synthetic based paints. His extensive use of PVA based materials of varying plasticities and with a much shorter drying time than oil paints allowed him to produce exciting new effects and finishes. Whilst not as well known as his brother, Ribeiro’s efforts greatly hastened the widespread use of acrylic paints by artists and contributed to the rich landscape of expatriate Indian artists working in London.
Lance Ribeiro passed away on the 25th December 2010 leaving behind an extensive archive of works. A retrospective show is planned for 2012, details of which will be published here.