Tower of London Poppies – Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red


This painting of the Tower of London was a commission for an existing client and used photographic references supplied by her. It shows the massive art installation “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”, which was installed to mark one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the 1914 – 1918 First World War. The poppies and original concept were created by artist Paul Cummins and the installation designed by Tom Piper and included 888,246 ceramic poppies installed in the Tower’s moat between 17 July and 11 November 2014. Each poppy represented a British or colonial military fatality during WW1.

Although my original reference photos showed shadows of people in the foreground, I have replaced these with shadows of WW1 soldiers, which gives the painting a somewhat “spooky” aura and I hope reinforces the theme of this artwork. 

The ceramic poppies encircled the whole castle, creating not only a spectacular display visible from all sides but also an opportunity for personal reflection. All of the poppies that made up the installation were later sold, raising millions of pounds which were shared equally amongst six service charities.  

As with many of my paintings, I have made extensive use of golden ratios and somehow my favourite dog, Oscar, has also put in an appearance again. This artwork comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by the artist





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Artist: Richard Harpum

Product Reference No: A-115044

Additional information

Dimensions 70 x 4 x 50 cm
(Width x Depth x Height)

Richard Harpum

Award-winning artist, Richard Harpum, paints mainly with acrylics on canvas or board but also paints watercolour florals.   He works in a realist style and pays meticulous attention to detail.  His slogan is “High Definition Art”. Richard's primary focus is landscapes and seascapes but he also paints still lifes, portraits and florals.  The effective use of light is a key ingredient to all of Richard’s works and he spends a great deal of time before starting a painting in selecting a composition that provides both drama and contrast. Born in Bromley, England, in 1951, Richard has had a passion for drawing and painting from a very young age.  As a youngster, he was always drawing and became a prolific painter after he received an oil painting set for Christmas when he was 12.  He has a Master of Arts degree from Cambridge University. Richard's work was featured in a 10-page article in International Artist Magazine, Issue 73, June 2010.  He has also won a number of art competitions and awards, including Professional Artist of the Year 2012 by the (British) Society for all Artists. He is a strong advocate for using the golden ratio (Phi - 1:1.618) in his paintings.  You may note that the position of the sun or some other key feature or length often fits this ratio.  In some of his works there are several used.  Richard believes that this gives his paintings a better balance than using the more traditional "rule of thirds". During his life Richard has lived in many parts of England and currently lives in South Yorkshire.  He has also travelled extensively for both pleasure and business and has lived abroad in Africa, the USA, Australia and Germany for a total of 20 years.  This has given him a very broad perspective of the world, as well as providing him with wonderful sources of inspiration for his paintings.

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