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Striking David Jagger portrait offered at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art Sale
David Jagger R.O.I. (British, 1891-1958) Self Portrait 40.6 x 30.5 cm. (16 x 12 in.) (Painted in 1928). Estimated at £20,000-30,000. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- The face of David Jagger stares out defiantly from his oil on board Self-Portrait of 1928. Estimated at £20,000-30,000, the painting is to be offered at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art sale in London on Wednesday 14 June at 3pm.

David Jagger was born in 1891 in Kilnhurst, a mining village in South Yorkshire. Inspired by his elder sister, Edith, and in the company of his elder brother Charles Sargeant, Jagger began attending evening art classes from a young age. His success as an apprentice in a lithographic printing company led him to win a scholarship to attend Sheffield Technical School of Art. He later began working as a commercial artist, and became particularly well-known for his society portraits. In 1958, David Jagger died at his Chelsea home, aged 67, leaving unfinished his final portrait of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Self-Portrait is a fine example of Jagger’s work in the late 1920s. During this time, he established a system of artificial lighting in his Chelsea studio and became fascinated with the chiaroscuro effects it produced. Jagger created only a small number of intimately observed portraits using this technique, of which this painting is one.

There has been a recent resurgence of interest in Jagger’s art. The Conscientious Objector, 1917, Jagger’s personal anti-war protest, sold at Bonhams in 2015 for £115,300. His 1939 painting The Young Golfer (Portrait of Ms. Joyce Rigby) followed with similar results, achieving £137,000 at Bonhams in November 2016.

Matthew Bradbury, Bonhams Department Director of Modern British and Irish Art said, “Following the artist’s previous success at auction, Bonhams is delighted to again be offering works by David Jagger, one of the finest society portrait painters during the first half of the 20th century. Self-Portrait is a simple, honest, and direct depiction of the artist as a 35-year-old, and a remarkable example of the skill and technique which brought Jagger so much acclaim during his lifetime.”

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