A Horsham artist has been awarded a prestigious scholarship after giving up a law career two years ago.
Benjamin Smith, of Horsham, received the QEST Siegmund Warburg Scholarship from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which provides funding for people studying practical arts and crafts.
Benjamin’s scholarship will help him complete his fourth and final year at the London Atelier of Representational Art, where he studies traditional figurative oil painting.
He worked as a lawyer in the Midlands before moving to Horsham two years ago, where he now has a studio.
Counting Raphael and Rubens among his favourite artists, Benjamin was also inspired by his grandfather Robert Ball, whose etchings and paintings are on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
His training in London follows the methods of study of the European Academies of Art of the 19th Century.
Responding to news of his scholarship, Benjamin said: “When I first got the news that QEST wanted to support me, I was absolutely blown away.
“It means so much to know that people believe in my work and in the craft of traditional fine art.”
Painting has been Benjamin’s passion since he was a child.
The scholarship will enable him to continue his training.
He added: “The atelier style of art school trains the eye and the hand to a remarkable level of accuracy and beauty.
“I aim to build upon these skills, taking them in new directions to communicate my own ideas in this incredibly rich language of realist art.”
The trust was founded in 1990 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Warrant Holders Association and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
It regularly makes grants to individuals wishing to further their training in traditional arts and crafts.
There will be a chance to see some of Benjamin’s work at the Horsham Artists’ Open Studio’s Art Trail in July.
A selection of his work will be on show in Horsham over two weekends July 9-10 and July 16-17 (venue yet to be announced).
For more information visit www.HorshamArtists OpenStudios.co.uk