Charles Debenham

‘The man who painted Colchester and Sudbury’

4th May to 2nd June 2019

Download Booklet | Scroll to Introduction & CV

Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm or by appointment

Click here to view the 2022 Exhibition

Sizes quoted are of artworks. Where enquiries of prices are made on the gallery, the work is subject to availability and the price to change.
Albert Villas, Maldon Road, 2017 25x23 £1,500
Andrew Millar and Marjorie gave this seat, 2017 23x25 £1,500
Approaching Christmas (Mistley Station), 2017 23x25 £1,500
Bag Ladies, Long Wyre Street, 2017 23x25 £1,500
Bargain Hunt at Saunders Carter & Sons, 2016 46x56 £2,750
Bottles Day, Maldon Road, 2017 25x23 £1,500
Cadet Hall, 2017 25x23 SOLD
Candy Striped Café, 2018 25x23 £1,500
Colourful Queue, 2016 23x25 £1,500
Dillies, Crouch Street, 2017 25x23 £1,500
Dog coats in Stock Now, 2017 20x15 SOLD
Eld Lane, Reshuffle, 2017 20x15 £650
Fading Music, 2017 25x23 £1,500
Fading Prince, 2017 20x15 £700
Fai’s , 2006 23x25 £1,500
Fenwick Rebuilding W & G, 2010-16 40x51 £2,500
Fun Road, 2019 25x35 £1,600
Gainsborough in Full Sun – rear cover , 2018 30x16 £1,200
Gunsmoke, 2015 23x25 £1,500
I Love Sudbury, 2018 25x23 SOLD
Let Me Tell You My Life Story, 2017 19x15 SOLD
Lopsided Onion, 2016 25x23 £1,500
Lowestoft Villa, Maldon Road, 2017 25x23 £1,500
Madge’s, 2018 25x23 £1,500
News Plus Free Cash, 2018 24x26 SOLD
Oliver’s Yard, 2016 25x20 £1,300
Overshadowed Wheelies, 2017 20x15 £650
Papillon Road, 2011 25x20 £1,300
Reflections Along the Melford Road , 2018 30x40 £2,000
Robins Row Ltd, Christmas Day, Long Melford, 2016 25x20 SOLD
Slippery Surfaces, 2017 23x25 £1,500
Spikey Tree, 2016 25x20 £1,300
St Mary’s, Higham, 2017 26x24 £1,500
Sudbury’s Yellow Brick Road, 2016 30x40 SOLD
Suffolk Road, 2016 25x20 £1,300
The Beer Tent, 2019 35x25 £1,600
The Blue Door, 2009 23x25 £1,250
The Blue Window, 2017 23X25 £1,500
The Brewers Arms, 2017 25x23 £1,500
The Green Wheelie, 2018 25x23 £1,500
The Kiosk, 2017 25x23 £1,500
The Lady Killer’s , Live Outside Gaol Lane, 2018 21.5x16.5 £950
The Lamp Post, 2016 30x40 £2,000
The Old School Gate, 2007 23X25 SOLD
The Reclaim Yard, 2019 40x57 £2,750
The Waggon and Horses, 2016 25x23 £1,500
The Well Connected Bee, 2018 25x23 SOLD
The White Balloon, 2017 25x23 £1,500
Today’s Local, 2019 24x30 SOLD
Varnishing Day, 2017 25x23 £1,500
Victoria Hall and the Prince of Wales, 2017 23x25 £1,500
Wiring and Wheelies, 2018 25x23 SOLD

Charles Debenham

‘The man who painted Colchester and Sudbury’

Introduction by Roderic Barrett (1920 – 2000)

It was thought who better to explain the artist’s paintings for this important exhibition in 2019, than his friend and mentor Roderic Barrett, written for his first show at Chappel Galleries in 1996.

‘Here is a celebration of the ordinary. Not for Charles Debenham the noble architectural structures or the quaint preserved, but the kind of street that may be seen in many local towns and villages. Houses jumbled together, often with no sense of order, filling whatever space happened to be there, roof shapes, window sizes, lodged there by the aimlessness of history and the best efforts of various jobbing builders, or stationary rows of houses, all much the same except for the telling colour of a door, the gate that is different. It is these very ordinary characters which capture Charles Debenham and through his art engage us. Each painting encourages us to pause, begin to absorb all that is there, enjoy the individuality of the commonplace. Here are these gates, bridges, roads and houses, separate from us, indifferent to our presence yet possessing when looked at by an artist all manner of sad, amazing, moving, unexpectedly telling juxtapositions.

There is nothing phoney in these paintings, they are quite free of arty affections. This is a singular gift.

So here are paintings to live with and share with Charles Debenham the fascinating discoveries that he has observed and painted with so much affectionate care.

Roderic Barrett (1996)’

Charles Debenham

BORN: Colchester 9th August 1933, married Eilish. Two sons, one daughter
EDUCATED: Colchester Royal Grammar School; Studied: Colchester School of Art

Aged 14 Charles Debenham began evening classes at Colchester School of Art, training there as an illustrator full-time from 1948-53; teachers John O’Connor, Blair Hughes-Stanton, Hugh Cronyn, Carel Weight. In the early sixties he was appointed to the list of designers for The Crown Agents. His clients included Anglian Water, British Telecom and National Rivers Authority followed by National Power and National Grid for whom he designed the Central Features for both The London International Boat Show and the World Travel Market; for London Electricity, the costumes and giant floats for The Lord Mayor’s Show and Battersea Easter Parade. At St Paul’s Cathedral he designed The Royal Wedding (Charles & Diana) Exhibition. Debenham was awarded top prize for his pavilion for Bowater, at The International Fair, Cairo 1976. He also designed the USA National Pavilion at Palais Sud, Paris 1980 and Basel Expo 1981. The Merchant Navy commissioned him to create their float for the parade to mark the 50th anniversary of WWII.


1970 Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury

1980 – 2015 exhibited most years Royal Academy, London

1988 – 2009 exhibited most years Royal West of England Academy
Beecroft Art Gallery, Westcliff on Sea, exhibited several times: awarded ‘most distinguished work’ 1995

1996 (with publication); 2000 (with book); 2006 (with publication); 2016 (with booklet) Chappel Galleries, Essex past solo shows

2000 – 2008 South West Academy of Fine Arts

2012 Minories, Colchester ‘Timeplace’ (three person show: Debenham; Howey; Roscorla)

2015 Beecroft Art Gallery, Southend
The Mall Galleries, London: New English Art Club; Discerning Eye; Royal Institute of Oil Painters
Exhibited with Brotherhood of Ruralists, Bodmin
Exhibited Hayletts Gallery, Essex
Exhibited Geedon Gallery, Essex

2019 ‘The man who painted Colchester and Sudbury’ Chappel Galleries, Essex with booklet (solo show)

Works in Collections

Sir David Frost; Colchester and Ipswich Museums; Epping Forest District Museum; East Contemporary Art Collection University Campus, Suffolk; Madison Museum of Fine Art, USA; London Electricity National Grid (commissioned).


‘The Outdoor Paintings by Charles Debenham’ folder of 24 postcards published by Chappel Galleries, Essex 1996
“Charles Debenham East Anglia” by David Buckman, published 2000 John Sampson & Co, Bristol;
Chas Debeham “From the Other Side of the Street” Introduction by the artist published 2006 Firstsite;
‘And Now You See It booklet published by Chappel Galleries, Essex 2016; ‘The man who painted Colchester and Sudbury’ published by Karl Debenham 2018;
‘The man who painted Colchester and Sudbury’ exhibition booklet for sales of paintings published by Chappel Galleries, Essex 2019

Works Reproduced

As above plus oil paintings in public ownership.

Information Taken From

Who’s who in Art 2012; David Buckman’s Artists in Britain since 1945; Chappel Galleries exhibition 2006, and above publications.

Further Information

Accompanying this exhibition: Book published by Karl Debenham Autumn 2018: Charles Debenham ‘The man who painted Colchester and Sudbury’.
Soft back - 96 pages - fully illustrated - colour reproductions - ISBN 978 –1-5272-3113-9 available at the gallery.
Price £15 postage extra