Artist Geoffrey Key Official Website

Artist Geoffrey Key official website


British Painter & Sculptor

Nab head flowers Geoffrey Key

Nab Hill Flowers: Geoffrey Key oil on canvas - 1967

Nab Hill

When Geoffrey Key graduated from art college, he started a career in teaching.   It was at this time that he made the conscious move from painting in the style of his mentor, Harry Rutherford, to developing his own personal artistic language.

To do this, he spent two years sketching and painting hundreds of images of the Whitely Nab in Derbyshire, all capturing different times of the day and different weather.  He eventually came out of his period of self-imposed artistic exile having metamorphosed into a painter with his own unique and instantly recognisable style.

A successful exhibition followed shortly after, and as his reputation began to grow, Geoffrey Key was able to leave teaching, and achieve his dream of becoming a professional, full time artist.


Whatever his subject matter, Geoffrey Key avoids imitation at all costs. To ensure this, he does not work directly from the subject, whether it is figures, horses, landscape or still life.

The reason for this is that he sees the mastery of his profession in finding his own language rather than repeating what has heard.

"If I'm doing a still life. I'll set it up, look at it for an hour or so, put it away and then paint it. I find the mind's great at distilling, at breaking it down into essentials. If I'm looking at it I find myself copying every detail, and that isn't necessary. I couldn't sit in a field painting a landscape because I would just feel I'm copying nature when photography can do a better job. Painting it from memory, recreating it on canvas can do quite another job"

Geoffrey Key


Retrospective images: Geoffrey Key Collection


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Geoff Key Artist studio Manchester

Catalogue raisonné of Key's work

Since 2000 we have been routinely photographing and recording pictures and sculpture for the now established studio database. This is a unique identifier, beginning GK and ending with a two-digit year date. It provides access information for what will ultimately form the catalogue raisonné of Key’s work and thus is important provenance. We are grateful to all who have kindly provided images of, or access to, earlier works in their collections which would be otherwise un-recorded. Should you possess a work by Geoffrey Key that is missing such a reference please email here.

Featured artworks

Original Geoffrey Key painting

Village Church: Oil on canvas 2019

Still life with skull: Oil on canvas 2012

Gerry Key with Mother

Image of Geoff with his Mother, Marion: 1944

An Artistic Childhood
Geoffrey Key was born 1941 in Manchester his mother was a major influence in his life. 
She was a talented draughtswoman but, like many women of the time, was pushed into secretarial work.  She continued her interest in art despite this, something she passed to her oldest child. For treats and trips out, mother and son would often visit ‘the pictures’ – her shorthand term not for the cinema, but for the galleries in the city
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Although Geoffrey Key is most famous as a painter, he is also a talented sculptor.  In fact, he won a scholarship to undertake a postgraduate DA course in sculpture at the Manchester Regional College of Art.  
Working in this medium allows him to operate in three dimensions to capture the form of his, and our, perceptions.  This is shown beautifully in his limited series of bronzes showing horses and riders and his wood carvings.
Northern sculpture artist Geoffrey Key

Warrior: Bronze 1964 | Bulls head: Elm 1989