A previously unseen artwork by Lucian Freud (1922-2011), one of the most important figurative painters of the 20th century has sold for £50,000 at Chiswick Auctions
, in London. Sketch of Goldie in charcoal on canvas, is a study of a horse that Freud left incomplete in 2003. He embarked on the work at the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre in West London, which is run by the nun, Sister Mary-Joy Langdon. He had been introduced to the stables by his studio assistant, the artist David Dawson, who had chanced on them while walking his dogs on the Scrubs. Very few of his canvases have remained unknown, making this work particularly rare.
Freud spent several years painting at the stables and built up a great friendship with Mary-Joy, only to leave her the present sketch, which she has treasured. She decided to sell it, to raise funds for the pony centre, a registered charity offering riding to disabled children, in order to ensure its future.
Estimated to fetch between £40-£60,000 there was high demand on auction day, with fervent bidding on the telephones, in the room and on the internet, with the work finally winning out to an anonymous telephone bidder.
There were other items belonging to Freud in the sale, which all sold well over their estimates; his easel pictured below, sold for £2,750 against an estimate of £600-£800 and his paint palette sold for £3,750 against an estimate of £2,000-£3,000. His rags, tea mug, that he used while at the stables, brushes and turps sold for £3,500 against an estimate of £500-£700.
Commenting on the sale Mary-Joy said; This auction has been one of the most important events that has ever happened for the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre. The amount raised today is an incredible amount of money which will go towards helping to sustain the charity for the future. I would like to thank Chiswick Auctions for their expertise and personal support. It was a privilege for us to have Lucian Freud at the Pony Centre for several years and without him we would not be here today. Finally, I do hope the new owners of the sketch get great enjoyment from having it.
Krassi Kuneva, Head of Sale, Modern & Post-War British Art at Chiswick Auctions, said: We are thrilled with this result, the proceeds of which are going to such a good cause. It demonstrates the passion for Freuds art works and memorabilia.