Ruskin Spear was born in London. Aged 15 won scholarship to Hammersmith School of Art, another in 1930 at Royal College of Art under Sir William Rothenstein and Gilbert Spencer, but it was Sickert and the Camden Town Group who influenced him most in these formative years. It was his Diploma show at Royal College of Art in 1934 which led him to his first portrait commission.Taught at Central School and St. Martin's School of Art. His first one man show was held at the Leicester Galleries in 1951 and he continued to exhibit regularly with the London Group and Royal Academy. Elected RA in 1954. Retrospective exhibition at RA in 1980 was a popular and critical success. His work is held in many public collections.