Richard David Cowan (circa 1909 - 1939) was, in the 1930s, the boyfriend of someone named Stewart Mitchell -- who may have been a writer. For a short time, he was one of the intimates in the famed circle of Sara and Gerald Murphy. He was also, it appears, an object of attraction for Gerald -- who had gay tendencies.
Very little is known of Cowan (pictured, with Sara and Gerald, in 1934), except that he killed himself by filling a kitchen with gas from the oven.
In a letter Gerald wrote to Richard, he said "... and I got to remembering things: your lingering over the bedded flowers in the Spanish Paseo, the things you laughed at, the way your hair grows on your neck, the loose Greek mould of your body, your staring at the passing foam on water, what brown looks like near you, the skin on your hands, your silences, your sudden height when you stand up.... Should one remember these and the thousand more secret things? ... Was it all lost? Will one ever enjoy it? Did it happen?"
You may read more about a recent exhibition of the art by the Murphys and those now-famous artists in their circle here.