We are delighted to bring to London a curated collection of highlights from our autumn picture sales. With works spanning more than 500 years, there is an eclectic mix of old and new, which juxtaposes a wide range of styles and mediums, from an original Damien Hirst spot painting, to a 15th century panel of the Madonna and Child Enthroned.
The exhibition will take place over two floors of our central London gallery in Cecil Court, prior to the full viewings in our Stansted Mountfitchet saleroom.
Come and visit us in London
5-16 September (excluding 7, 10 and 11) 10.30am-5pm
Follower of Neri di Bicci (Italian, 1418-1492)
Madonna and Child enthroned
This attractive work dates from the 15th century, based on ‘Madonna and Child Enthroned’, by Neri di Bicci. The stylised form and gold ground was typical of early Renaissance works. De Bicci’s style straddles this early period, where form was very stiff and there was often little or no background detail to paintings, and a more modern, naturalistic style.
Attributed to Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, 1692-1765)
A capriccio with classical ruins
Giovanni Paola Panini was an 18th century artist and architect who produced paintings detailing the architecture of Rome, with a focus on the antiquities that are present throughout the city. Often, the inspiration of these ruins led him to create ‘capriccios’: made-up, often slightly fanciful grand imaginings, as in the present lot.
Théodore Rousseau (French, 1812-1867)
The collection of Sir Jack and Lady Baer includes a number of attractive oil sketches by pre-eminent 19th century French painters, including this landscape by Théodore Rousseau. Sir Jack was the founder of the well-known gallery Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox which among other specialities, focussed on the French Barbizon school. The collection comes from their home and includes a number of oil sketches from the period which are delightfully free in execution.
Roy de Maistre (Australian, 1894-1968)
A vase of midsummer flowers
Australian artist, Roy de Maistre was an early pioneer of colour theory and abstraction in his native Australia. After the First World War, he developed his concept of colour by working with shell-shocked soldiers and creating colour combinations to soothe them. He was also a talented musician, playing the viola and violin at Sydney’s Conservatorium. The idea of harmonising colour, as composers do with notes, appealed to him.
In 1923, he won a scholarship to travel to Europe. Greatly influenced by European modernism, in particular cubism, de Maistre settled in London permanently in 1930. This is the year, he first met artist Francis Bacon and through this friendship they were an influence upon each other’s work.
‘A vase of midsummer flowers’ is the larger of two paintings on offer by de Maistre in this auction. Its vibrant reds, yellows, blues, purples and white depict an eclectic summer bouquet with blue and white stocks, roses, yellow ranunculus, black-eyed susans and scabiosa. The vase is placed on an angular table with an abstracted screen in the background, it is reflected in the table in cubist forms that are echoed in the flower heads. It showcases de Maistre’s distinctive interpretation of the cubist movement.
Frederick Gore RA (1913-2009)
View from the terrace - Fornalutx, Majorca
Son of the artist Spencer Gore (1878–1914), although Frederick never knew him as sadly he died only a few months after his birth. Spencer, was the first president of the Camden Town Group and best known for his landscapes and interiors with their influence from French Post-Impressionism. Frederick shared his father’s passion for this period and it can be seen in his expression of colour and light in his Mediterranean views, particularly those painted in Majorca.
Frederick Gore visited the Spanish island regularly during the 1970s, and for several summers he rented a house at Fornalutx. On the extreme left of this painting we see a little of the house, with the remaining buildings and landscape showing his view from the terrace. We see blazes of colours from the purples, blues and greens of the mountains, through to the orange and green fields and the red and yellow buildings. There is a very strong compositional foundation, which helps the eye dart about though the glowing colours. This is a really captivating work due to its large scale and vivid palette and the lot is enhanced by a lovely note written to the present owner by the artist in 1989 where he describes in detail the exact location depicted.
Damien Hirst (b.1965)
'6441 No Shelter' from the Currency
‘6441 No Shelter’, is one of 10,000 works created for Damien Hirst’s ‘The Currency’. The process started with the creation of the physical artworks in 2016. These take the form of unique hand-painted colourful dots on enamel paint on paper, each signed and inscribed and with a holographic image and microdot.
What makes this collection fascinating is that these paintings were also associated with an NFT. NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) are digital certificates of ownership which exist on the secure online ledgers that are known as blockchains. Collectors had one year to decide between the painting or an NFT, whichever was picked, the other is to be destroyed. The exchange was a one-way process so buyers were told to ‘choose carefully’.
The exchange deadline was on 27th July 2022, and 4,851 people chose the NFT. For those that chose the physical paintings, the 5,149 NFTs were burned. An exhibition of the remaining physical paintings from ‘The Currency’, will open at Newport Street Gallery, London on Friday 23rd September 2022. Throughout the exhibition, the paintings by the artist will be burned in the gallery.
‘The Currency’ plays with our ideas of art and currency, through this project art changes and becomes a currency, and currency becomes art.