Cheltenham Art

Gloucestershire Wildlife Artist Killed in Tragic Accident


The renowned wildlife artist Simon Combes, who lived in Gloucestershire for nearly 20 years, has been tragically killed by a buffalo.  The 64-year old painter was out walking on Lord Hugh Delemere's estate in Kenya's Great Rift Valley when he was trampled by a buffalo which 'came out of nowhere'.

Simon Combes will be remembered for his excellence in the field of wildlife portraiture. He was born in Shaftesbury in 1940 and moved to Kenya with his family at the age of 5.  He took up painting whilst in the army and began to exhibit in Nairobi before becoming a full-time freelance artist.  Then for more than 20 years he settled in Gloucestershire, in the village of Bushley near Tewkesbury. But his first love of the African Savannah and its wildlife was clear in his wonderful artwork.  He returned to Africa several years ago, but continued to exhibit in the county, notably at 'Nature in Art' at Twigworth to the north of Gloucester.

The director of 'Nature in Art', Simon Trapnell, made this tribute to Simon Combes' work:


"Although self-taught, his intimate knowledge of his subjects and the places in which they lived, gave his paintings life.  The viewer was not looking at mere illustration, but could sense the tension and the drama of the scene. 

Small wonder that people were so inspired by his work, which had an instantly recognisable style. No slavishly copying photographs here -  but the living out through paintings of a passion and understanding of the wildlife and threatened habitats of the world."


This passion for the wildlife of Africa was also reflected in his conservation work, leading to his appointment as project director by The Rhino Rescue Trust.  This remarkable, yet unassuming man shall be greatly missed by the world of art and the people of Gloucestershire alike.


Written by Andy Lloyd 15th December 2004


References and links:

A. Warner "Artist killed by Buffalo" pp1-3, 'The Citizen' 15/12/04

Simon Combes' website: