26
26
Coward, Noël
ORIGINAL PAINTING FOR THE DUST JACKET OF THE FIRST EDITION OF POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE (LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN, 1960). JAMAICA, 1959–1960
Estimate
12,00018,000
JUMP TO LOT
26
Coward, Noël
ORIGINAL PAINTING FOR THE DUST JACKET OF THE FIRST EDITION OF POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE (LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN, 1960). JAMAICA, 1959–1960
Estimate
12,00018,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Maurice Neville Collection of Modern Literature (Part III)

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Coward, Noël
ORIGINAL PAINTING FOR THE DUST JACKET OF THE FIRST EDITION OF POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE (LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN, 1960). JAMAICA, 1959–1960
Watercolor, ink, and gouache on paper (15 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.; 400 x 350 mm) multiple hinges on corners. Framed. 
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Literature

Sheridan Morley, Out in the Midday Sun: The Paintings of Noel Coward, Oxford, 1988, pp. 78–79, illustrated; Noël Coward, et al., The Noel Coward Diaries, London, 1982, p. 290

Catalogue Note

Noël Coward fell in love with Jamaica while on holiday there in 1948. He purchased his first home, “Blue Harbour,” in 1950 and it quickly became a mecca for a wide spectrum of noted artists, actors, celebrities, socialites and dignitaries. Coward began to crave a more private lifestyle and in 1956 moved to his second home, “Firefly.” The English playwright, composer, actor, painter and singer wrote his first and only novel Pomp and Circumstance while at his new home. "Firefly Hill has given me the most valuable benison of all: time to read and write and think and get my mind in order," Coward wrote in his diary. "I love this place. It deeply enchants me. Whatever happens to this silly world, nothing much is likely to happen here."

The novel is set in the fictional British Caribbean Colony of Samolo, which he first created for his play Pacific 1860 and used again for the South Sea Bubble. Pomp and Circumstance is written in his characteristically witty and comic style that made his plays and musicals so popular, and was well received by critics.

As a painter Coward was self-taught, although he unabashedly proclaimed "compared with the pretentious muck in some London galleries ... my amateur efforts appear brilliant."  His earliest works were in watercolor; however, following the advice (or possibly insistence) of his friend Winston Churchill, Coward switched to oil painting in the 1930’s. Unfortunately Coward was allergic to the oil-paint and therefore had to work with his hands in plastic gloves, or, sometimes, bags. Later in life he returned to watercolors and experimented with gouache, as seen in this work, while still producing some oil paintings. The vast majority of his paintings after 1948 depict the life and landscape of Jamaica in bright colors. He depicted promenade scenes like the one in this work throughout his painting career and in a variety of settings.

Coward gave away most of his paintings as gifts to friends and colleagues. The present watercolor remained in the archives of William Heinemann Ltd. until being sold in the 1980s with other original dust-jacket art from the firm.

The Maurice Neville Collection of Modern Literature (Part III)

|
New York