Lot 107
  • 107

Ceri Richards

10,000 - 15,000 GBP
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  • Ceri Richards
  • La Cathedrale Engloutie - Forked Arabesque
  • oil on canvas
  • 127 by 127cm., 50 by 50in.


Marlborough Fine Art, London
Stone Gallery, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne


Hamburg, Kunstverein, Britische Kunst Heute, 30 March -12 May 1968, no.45.

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1961.
The extensive series of paintings that Richards produced from 1957-1963 that took their source from Claude Debussy's prelude La Cath├ędrale Engloutie (first published in the 1909-1910 First Book of Preludes for Piano) form a major theme in his oeuvre and in many ways seem to encapsulate the artist's exploration of the concept of abstraction as an emotional response to the stimuli of other artistic forms of expression and thus run concurrently with the musical analogies inherent in the work of a number of other British artists of his generation, perhaps most notably Ivon Hitchens.

The Cath├ędrale series sees Richards inventing a unique and personal manner that incorporated thecollage elements of his 1930's surrealist works within an instinctively painterly form. The Debussy prelude evokes the legend of the submerged cathedral of Ys in Brittany, the bells of the church ringing beneath the waves, and Richards was able to interpret this with no little feeling, knowing, of course, the composer's own awareness of Monet and his series of paintings. It can therefore be no coincidence that Richards' embarkation on this theme was concurrent with the 1957 Tate Gallery exhibition of Monet's work, which included four of the superb Rouen Cathedral series and several Water Lilies series.