Artist Lancelot (né Lanceloté José Belarmino) Ribeiro was born into a Catholic family from Goa (then a Portuguese colony) in Bombay (now Mumbai), India on 28 November 1933. He moved to England in 1950 to study accountancy (which he hated), initially living with his half-brother, the painter F. N. Souza, switching in 1951 to study life drawing at St. Martin’s School of Art (until 1953), as well as writing poetry (from 1954) and experimenting with jewellery design. Following National Service in the RAF in 1954, Ribeiro returned to Bombay in 1955 and continued as a poet, becoming a full-time artist in 1958. He held his first solo exhibition at the Bombay Artist Aid Centre in 1961, a sell-out which gained him a commission to paint a 12ft mural for Tata Iron and Steel, and also participated in the exhibition Ten Indian Painters which toured Europe and North America. In 1962, Ribeiro was nominated for the All India Gold Medal and returned to London, co-founding the Indian Painters' Collective, UK (IPC) in 1963 and initiating the exhibition Six Indian Painters at India House, London in 1964; he held a solo exhibition at Everyman Gallery, Hampstead in 1965. In 1972, he lectured on Indian Art and Culture at the Commonwealth Institute, co-founding the Rainbow Art Group in 1976, which evolved into the Indian Artists UK group in 1978. He went on to exhibit extensively in both solo and group shows in India, Europe, the USA and Canada.
Ribeiro’s early work, principally townscapes and portraits, was inspired by Indian and Goan architecture and the Christian tradition. He later experimented with polyvinyl acetate (PVA), a precursor of acrylic paint, which had a reduced drying time, and employed a brilliant palette, largely embracing abstraction from the 1960s-80s, also exploring landscape and the practice of Tantra. Retrospectives were held at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery (1986) and Swiss Cottage Library Gallery (1987). Lancelot Ribeiro died in London, England on 25 December 2010. In the accompanying catalogue to the posthumous exhibition, ‘Restless Ribeiro’, at Asia House, London in 2013, his friend, the Indian poet, translator and critic R. Parthasarathy, observed that Ribeiro's ‘true subject’ was his ‘origins – Goan roots, estrangement from India, and exile in London. How does a human being come to terms with multiple histories and in the process achieve wholeness’. Ribeiro is represented in UK collections including the British Museum; Burgh House, Hampstead; New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester; Tate; the University of Sussex and the V&A. In 2020 his work was included in Ben Uri's virtual exhibition, 'Midnight's Family: 70 Years of Indian Artists in Britain'.