Thomas Rathmell was born in Wallasey, Cheshire. He studied at Liverpool School of Art and the Royal College of Art. During the Second World War he produced industrial and naval camouflage for the Ministry of Home Security in London and Leamington Spa. Afterwards, he settled in Wales, becoming Head of Fine Art at Newport College of Art. He later became Vice-Principal (1949–72). A member of the Welsh Group and the Watercolour Society of Wales, Rathmell had a solo exhibition that toured Wales in 1956, followed by several exhibitions at Howard Roberts Gallery, Cardiff. A Welsh Arts Council retrospective was held in 1982. In 1969, Rathmell was commissioned by the Welsh Office to depict the Investiture of the Prince of Wales.
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