The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sotheby's Provides Further Details and Presents Paintings of Lord Attenborough Sale
L.S. Lowry, Old Houses. Estimate: £300,000-500,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Following the announcement in August of the sale of a group of pictures from the collection of Lord and Lady Attenborough at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday, November 11, 2009, Sotheby’s is now providing further details of this spectacular, one-off single-owner sale. A Life In Pictures: The Collection of Lord and Lady Attenborough will present a superb cross-section of British Art from the middle decades of the 20th Century that the Attenboroughs have assembled over the last 60 years with immense passion and a very distinctive eye. The leading names of LS Lowry, Edward Burra, Ivon Hitchens, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and Christopher Wood – many of whom the Attenboroughs knew personally - are all represented in the collection and feature alongside one of the most remarkable group of prints by Christopher Nevinson to appear on the market in recent years. The 51 lots are expected to realize in excess of £2 million.

The Attenboroughs’ collecting:
Lord and Lady Attenborough first started collecting British art in the 1940s and it is a hobby and a passion that still remains a significant part of their lives today. Through their collecting they established relationships with many artists and galleries and among the artists they came to know well were Matthew Smith, Graham Sutherland, Edward Burra, Stanley Spencer, Bryan Kneale, Bryan Organ, Henry Moore and LS Lowry. Lord Attenborough’s love of art was inherited from his parents and in particular his father, who in his words “was a distinguished and progressive educationalist who passionately believed that the arts had a fundamental role at the centre of a rounded and civilizing education.”

The Attenboroughs’ collecting taste mirrored that of many of their theatre-world contemporaries - such as John Mills, John Boulting, Larry Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson - and their collection traces the artistic trends in British Art in the mid-part of the 20th Century, while at the same time reflects the experiences and interests of Lord Attenborough’s own career. Key British artists represented in the collection each interpret the significant communal experiences of their day – whether the Second World War, the lives of the working classes or the struggles and achievements of iconic figures of the 20th Century – just as Lord Attenborough did through his work as a renowned actor, director and producer.

Talking about their early years of collecting, Lord Attenborough states: “Such was mine and Sheila’s passion that we had a few paintings on the walls of our Richmond home (in which we rattled around to this day 60 years later) acquired at a very young and impecunious time when we couldn’t even afford carpets and curtains… I still love all the paintings we bought when we were young.”

He adds: “Our collection is dominated by figurative works that possess a narrative. Indeed many have influenced me as a film director. These pieces from our collection are exclusively and unashamedly British. They celebrate not only the inner life of our common humanity but are symbols of our national psyche. The country that we love and whose shores we will never leave.”

Connecting his passion for art with his own work, he comments: “The major challenge of my own work as an actor and director is to offer the audience the opportunity to look at the world differently, frequently through the eyes of a character or characters. Art does that, through the eyes of the artist.”

And discussing the decision to offer for sale this group of 20th Century British Paintings and Prints, Lord Attenborough, said: “60 years ago my wife Sheila and I bought the house we live in to this day. We could not afford carpets or curtains, but more importantly for us we had a few pictures for our walls. Today, this passion has led us to the position of possessing more paintings than those walls can contain. We have loved and cherished these wonderful pieces throughout the course of our lives, but in all truth, art belongs to no one, some of us are simply its temporary, fortunate and delighted custodians. Now is the moment for us to pass on these ravishing images for others to treasure and enjoy.”

James Rawlin, Senior Director and Head of 20th Century British Art at Sotheby’s, talking about the collection, states: “This is a very personal, very British collection that has been assembled with huge amounts of knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm. It provides a superb snapshot of British Art during the middle years of the 20th Century when so much was going on in the wider world and it does so in a very individual way. The Attenboroughs have maintained their same collecting vision throughout the last 60 years, from their very first purchases in the late 1940s right up to today, and this gives the collection a wonderful sense of harmony. Within the collection there are some very important works by Graham Sutherland and Christopher Nevinson, in particular.”

The sale highlights:
Old Houses by L.S. Lowry is one of the sale’s undoubted highlights and this is a superb example of the artist’s imagery that manages to be simultaneously nostalgic, theatrical and questioning. In the late-1950s and early-1960s, the ‘new wave’ of British cinema brought the lives of the working classes to the fore and found an artistic parallel in the paintings of Lowry and during this period his works entered the collections of many in the dramatic worlds, such as Lord Attenborough, who remained a close friend of the artist for many years. The Attenboroughs were great admirers of the urban realism of Lowry’s work. Old and dilapidated buildings always held a fascination for Lowry and in Old Houses, estimated at £300,000-500,000, he represented the kind of life which was only too familiar in countless industrial districts of cities across the midlands and the north of England.

Thorn Head, 1947 by Graham Sutherland is arguably the finest work by Sutherland to appear on the market in more than 20 years; in fact since this same picture was last sold at Sotheby’s in 1984. Dating from a crucial period in the artist’s career, it is both a refinement of the themes and concerns that inspired his work during the late 1930s and the war years, and also a pre-figuration of much that was to come. The painting - a powerful, abstract image on a large-scale - relates to a commission from Rev. Walter Hussey for a painting of the crucifixion for St Matthew’s Church in Northampton and the group of paintings to which Thorn Head, 1947 belongs demonstrates how Sutherland’s working methods often spawned entirely different strands of imagery from one original concept. The painting was executed around the time of Sutherland’s great friendship and working relationship with Francis Bacon and at a time when Sutherland’s prominence and reputation was far ahead of that of Bacon. Extensively exhibited worldwide, Thorn Head, 1947, is an example of Sutherland at his very best and it comes to the market with an estimate of £150,000-250,000.

Christopher Wood is represented in the sale by two works: Flowers on a Chair with Pipe and Paper, estimated at £100,000-150,000, and Card Players, which is expected to fetch £30,000-50,000. The first of these works was painted in Paris in 1928 and, typical of many of the works in the Attenboroughs’ collection, the theme is perhaps not what it at first appears. The apparently casual arrangement of everyday objects and flowers on closer inspection tell the story of the frequent duality in Wood’s work, an artist with a somewhat changeable mental state, depending on the circumstances in which he found himself and his relationships at the time. While the pipe, packet, newspaper and jug are all painted with Wood’s usual broad and fluid handling, the flowers are rendered with a huge level of intensity and perhaps hint at narcotics in play.

Lord Attenborough first purchased Card Players in the 1940s but he was then forced to sell the picture in the late 1970s to help finance a film he was working on at the time. He describes: “I desperately needed to raise money – in fact for my long cherished film of ‘Gandhi.’ So I sold my beloved Card Players by Christopher Wood, inspired by Cézanne and one of the first paintings I ever bought from the Redfern in 1949. As soon as it became available again and I could afford it, I bought it back!” Lord Attenborough did indeed purchase the work again in 1985 and it has remained in his collection since. One of Wood’s earliest pictures, The Card Players was painted in Paris around the Christmas of 1922. Directly influenced by Cézanne, Wood mentions the painting in a letter to his mother and the subject was one to which the artist returned on a number of occasions over the years.

Two landscapes by Edward Burra are entitled Harbour with Boats, Plymouth and Wye Valley I and these are estimated at £120,000-180,000 and £70,000-100,000 respectively. Landscape was an important part of Burra’s early work but it was only towards the end of his career that it became a subject to which he devoted considerable time and effort and the two landscapes on offer vary in date by a period of approximately 30 years.

The panoramic sweep of Plymouth Harbor dates from 1936 – some 32 years earlier than the view of Wye Valley – and while at first it seems to capture the everyday details of a very British harbor; a closer look shows the artist’s tendency for surrealist sensibilities. Shortly after he painted the Plymouth view he became completely occupied with images relating to the Spanish Civil War and did not return to the landscape genre until the late 1940s.

From the mid 1960s onwards Burra made a number of motoring tours around Britain with his sister Anne and visited the more remote areas of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Moors, Devon, Cornwall, the Fens and Welsh borders. Created from memory, Burra’s interpretations of the views that he saw - of which Wye Valley I is a prime example - often changed and exaggerated the landscape to imbue it with an anthropomorphism and drama.

Christopher Nevinson is represented by a superb depiction of The Battlefields of Britain as well as an exemplary group of prints. Although Nevinson will always be linked to his images of the Western Front during the First World War, The Battlefields of Britain – which dates from 1941, the dark days of the Second World War – demonstrates that he had not lost his ability to capture the essential nature of each specific conflict.

As the first major invasion threat fought over, if not actually on, British soil for centuries, the Battle of Britain was of huge national significance and Nevinson created an image that even as time passes, remains an icon of a key moment in British history. It was one of three paintings that Nevinson produced under the group title The Battlefields of Britain; two were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1942. The artist presented one version to the nation in late 1942 and it hung in the Council Room of the Air Ministry during the war.

Highlighting the group of Nevinson prints – in terms of value – is French Troops Resting, which is a prime example of the artist’s ability to bring together the disparate elements of warfare. It captures a group of fatigued soldiers gathered by a roadside taking a brief respite, a key part of military life. The print dates from 1916 and is estimated at £30,000-50,000. Further notable highlights of the group are: A Dawn 1914 (est.: £25,000-35,000); Returning to the Trenches from 1916, which is perhaps one of Nevinson’s most immediately recognisable images of the Great War (est.: £20,000-30,000); and The Road from Arras to Bapaume, which was the result of his later visits to the Western Front during 1917 in his role as an Official War Artist (est.: £18,000-25,000). In this latter work Nevinson has created an image which sums up both the destruction and day-to-day business of war; it shows the blasted empty landscape with just the stumps of trees left behind depicted alongside the orderliness of the men and vehicles moving in both directions.

Sotheby's | Lord and Lady Attenborough | London | Ben Nicholson | Henry Moore | 20th Century |

Last Week News

September 24, 2009

British Museum Presents First Exhibition to Examine the Semi-Mythical Status of Moctezuma

Broad Selection of Modern and Contemporary Works at Sotheby's Prints Sale

Works from the Collection of John Cage and Merce Cunningham to be Sold at Christie's

Guggenheim Museum Announces Nominees for New Artist-Conceived Awards Event

Berliner Liste Offers Platform for Fresh, Contemporary Art

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Acquires Spectacular Installation Piece

Rising Amid Squalor, Senegal Bronze Monument Stirs Anger

Dramatic Installation for the V&A's New Galleries Commissioned with Art Fund Help

Dalí at the Cycling World Championships in Switzerland

Lady Gilbert Gives Exquisite Silverware to Temple Newsam House

Photography Exhibition at the Art Institute Showcases Three Emerging Talents

A Bouquet of Botanical Delights: The Life and Art of Mary Delany at the Yale Center for British Art

American Exhibition Leaves a Lasting Impression in Australia

St. Petersburg OKs Skyscraper by Russian Gas Giant

The Vancouver Biennale Installs Public Art Sculpture by Chinese Artist Yue Minjun

Miami Art Museum Announces Group Exhibition that Addresses Space as Medium

The National Gallery of Canada Foundation Announces the Launch of The American Friends of the National Gallery of Canada

Milwaukee Art Museum to Light Iconic Calatrava-Designed Wings Pink

Famed and Feared Hope Diamond Goes Naked

First Display of Portraits by the Sculptor John Gibbons Opens at the National Portrait Gallery

September 23, 2009

Grand Palais Showcases Artwork from the Second Half of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Career

Tate Gallery Presents a Selection of Paintings by JMW Turner Along with Old Masters

Mexican Federal Prosecutors Probe Possible Frida Kahlo Fakes

Exhibit at Scuderie del Quirinale Showcases Painting in Ancient Rome

Oakland Museum of California Awarded $2.5 Million Grant from National Science Foundation

SFMOMA Celebrates 75th Anniversary with Free Weekend Celebration

Newseum Deputy Director and Vice President Max Page Dies at 60

The Hyde Collection Receives Gift of Major Douglass Crockwell Painting

Smithsonian's National Postal Museum Receives Its Largest Donation from PIMCO's Founder Bill Gross

Major Cultural Art Exhibition from Colombia Opens at New York City's Grand Central Terminal

First Museum Survey Devoted to Artist James Castle to Open at the Art Institute of Chicago

King Tut Arrives at Denver Art Museum for Summer

Award-Winning Illustrations from the Mazza Collection to Go on View at the Toledo Museum of Art

Smithsonian Reveals New Plan to Boost Research

Cartier and America Exhibition to Make a Stop at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco

Winners of the 4th Great Rivers Biennial Announced

El Morro: History Written on Stone

Clues to Identity: An Exhibition by the Students of ICP's Independent Projects Seminars 2007-2009

Metropolitan Opens First Exhibition of Jean-Antoine Watteau's Paintings in the United States in 25 Years

France A. Córdova Appointed to the Smithsonian's Board of Regents

September 22, 2009

Frank Stella Receives the Julio González Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts

Christie's to Sell Early Portrait by Sir Alfred James Munnings Hidden for Nearly a Century

The Stadel Museum will Show the First Monographic Exhibition on Sandro Botticelli

Two Newly-Discovered Still Lifes by Adriaen Coorte To Headline Sotheby's Sale

Frieze Art Fair 2009 Announces Paul McCarthy Work to Remain in Regent's Park for Six Months

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Opens Exhibition Based on Canonical American Novels

Tate Modern Announces an Exhibition of Photographic Images Made Surreptitiously

The Jewish Museum Presents First Henry J. Leir Prize Awarded to Honor Outstanding Work of Art

Property from the Collection of HRH The Prince George, to be Offered at Christie's

Hood Museum of Art Celebrates its Permanent Collection of Post-1945 Painting and Sculpture

Netwerk Center for Contemporary Art Opens Time as Activity Exhibition

Everson Presents Symposium on Women in Ceramics and the Arts & Crafts Movement

The Aviva Art Award Goes to Little Warsaw, Emese Benczúr Wins the Popular Prize

Ten Years After Robert Blanchon's Death, Fales Library at NYU will Hold First Exhibition

The Morgan to Present Exhibition on the Great - and Enduringly Popular - Novelist Jane Austen

SUSHI Announces Patrick Stewart as Its new Executive Director

Charity Auction 'Art for Africa' Raises 457,450 Pounds at Sotheby's to Benefit 'Africa Foundation' and 'Ikamva Labantu'

Transitland: Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2009 on View in Bulgaria

Robert Frank's Groundbreaking Photographs Featured in Major Exhibition Marking 50th Anniversary of The Americans

September 21, 2009

Banco do Brasil's Cultural Center Presents 123 Works Made by the Russian Avant-Gardes

El Museo del Barrio Reopens October 17 Celebrating 40th Anniversary Year

Internationally Acclaimed Painter Bridget Riley Offers Second Show at Timothy Taylor Gallery

Seattle Art Museum is the First U.S. Museum to Survey the Work of Filmmaker Nicolas Provost

Major Eadweard Muybridge Retrospective Announced at Tate Britain for Autumn 2010

Norwegian Artist Matias Faldbakken Produces New Series for the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

International Design Museum Munich Presents The Schoonhoven Silver Award 2009

Iniva Explores Issues of Globalisation and Migrant Labour in New Exhibitions

First Solo Exhibition for Holger Niehaus at Gemeentemuseum in The Hague

San Francisco Painter Barbara Vos Presents Rhythm Vision at Cara and Cabezas Contemporary

Exhibition at Aargauer Kunsthaus Explores the Inner Worlds

The Embassy: A Multi-Disciplinary Group Show will be Held during Frieze Art Fair

Graffiti Gone Global: Sushisamba Presents Largest Exhibition of International Street Art in Miami

New Book by Robert Adams, Photographer of the Changing American Landscape

Artist Liz Glynn Organizes Live Super-Performance at Arthouse

First Major Touring Exhibition of One of America's Most Virtuosic Furniture Makers Opens in Dallas

American Photographer Lydia Panas Exhibits Portraits at Yours Gallery in Poland

Gallery Ragini Presents Juvenilia Juxtaposed through the Lens of Eight Shutterbugs

National Galleries of Scotland Celebrate Concrete Poetry with Several Exhibitions

Juilliard Unveils Its First New, Commissioned Art Installation Since Its Move to Lincoln Center in 1969

September 20, 2009

Wallraff-Richartz Museum in Cologne Shows Painting by Vincent van Gogh

Historic 3-Year Louvre Atlanta Partnership Brings in Over 1.3 Million Visitors to the High

Japanese Masters of Bamboo Weaving, Kagoshi, Exhibits at MKG Hamburg

Archive of Photojournalist Eddie Adams Donated to Briscoe Center

Museum in Leuven Opens with New Building and Rogier van der Weyden Exhibition

Carnegie Museum of Art Presents Palm Springs Modern: Photographs by Julius Shulman

Epic Painting by Cy Twombly to be Shown for the First Time at the Menil Collection

Tate Britain to Present a Ground-Breaking Exhibition on the Role of Humour in British Visual Culture

Exhibition of Prints by Edvard Munch Goes on Display at the National Gallery of Ireland

Amon Carter Museum Presents Views and Visions: Prints of the American West, 1820-1970

Daniel Knorr Designs a Series of Works that Connect all Five Galleries of the Kunsthalle Basel's Ground Floor

Original Cartoon Artworks of Charles Addams to be Shown at the Bruce Museum

The Akron Art Museum Presents Nuclear Enchantment: Photographs by Patrick Nagatani

Dawson & Nye Announces the First Auction of the Season Featuring Paintings by Norman Rockwell

Be Drawn into Art at the Annual Big Draw Event at the National Gallery of Australia

Exhibition of New Works by Emerging Artist Laurence Owen at 20 Hoxton Square Projects

Konstantin Grcic's "Decisive Designs" to be Showcased at the Art Institute of Chicago

Internationally Renowned Artist Dan Perjovschi to Create a Work of Site-Specific Art at the Taubman Museum of Art

Walker Art Center and MIA Launch Redesigned ArtsConnectEd Website

Iraq Arrests 3 on Antiquities Charges

September 19, 2009

Rembrandt Masterpiece - Unseen in Public for 40 Years - to be Offered at Christie's

Full-Scale Retrospective of the Paintings of Vasily Kandinsky Opens at the Guggenheim

Sotheby's Series of Asian Art Sales Totals $19,280,279

Spanish Designer Jaime Hayón Creates Installation in Trafalgar Square

Henry Moore Exhibition at Tate will Reveal the Range and Quality of Moore's Art in New Ways

Gagosian Gallery Presents a Major New Work by Takashi Murakami

Art Detroit Now: 2 Days, 75 Galleries & Museums, 1000s of Artists

Damian Ortega, One of Mexico's Leading Artists of a New Generation, is Subject of Exhibition

Two New York Based Artists, Andrea Geyer and Sharon Hayes, Present their Work in Switzerland

LACMA Appoints Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art

Letitia Chambers to Join Acclaimed Museum of Native Cultures & Art

Rare Documents Related to the California State Constitution to be Offered at Bonhams & Butterfields in October

International Artists will Set Sail into the High Arctic to Work on Individual Projects

First Retrospective of the Work of Renée Green Opens at Musée Cantonal des BeauxArts

Personal Photographs by Munter and Kandinsky Illuminate Guggenheim Retrospective

Sheila Wallis Wins the 25,000 Pound Threadneedle Prize

Illustrator Barbara Nessim Honored as Norman Rockwell Museum's First Artist Laureate

Francesco Vezzoli Examines the Role of the Dalí in Today's Celebrity-Obsessed Society at Moderna Museet

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces Recent Hires

Edward Delaney Sculpture Unveiled at Irish Museum of Modern Art

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful