Copyright 2014 Michael Grant de Longueuil
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The 11th Baron de Longueuil had a somewhat rollercoaster life throughout which his art and faith were his anchors. He has left us a phenomenal rich archive of his life’s work in paintings, prose and poetry, succinctly capturing life in the Bearn in the last half of the twentieth century.
Raymond was the second son of Ronnie (a professional soldier) and Tenie, first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II the Queen Mother of Great Britain. He was born in 1921 near the ancient bastion of Navarrenx, South of France. He was always outshone by his intelligent and charismatic elder brother Raoul who went on to be a naval aviator, being killed over the North Sea in 1942 in pursuit of the Nazi battleship Tirpitz.
Raymond was posted to India in the army where he spent his spare time drawing. At the War’s end he returned to Great Britain, married and had a son. He attended Nottingham Art School but due to his radical views fell out with authority and left to study art in Cambridge.
In 1953 his mother needs help following his father breaking his hip. Returning to their home in Navarrenx, he begins his professional career as an artist, constantly entering competitions, exhibiting, and later permanent exhibitions in the town. He develops distinctive styles, seeks the company of regional artists and accepts criticism.