97
97

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, LONDON

David Bomberg
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE AND THE CITY OF JERSUALEM
Estimate
60,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 61,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
97

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, LONDON

David Bomberg
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE AND THE CITY OF JERSUALEM
Estimate
60,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 61,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

20th Century British Art

|
London

David Bomberg
1890-1957
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE AND THE CITY OF JERSUALEM
oil on canvasboard
26.5 by 36.5cm.; 10½ by 14½in.
Executed in 1923.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Marlborough Fine Art, London
Mrs Devora Barnett
Sale, Sotheby's London, 24th October 2005, lot 18, where acquired by the present owner

Exhibited

London, Marlborough Fine Art, David Bomberg 1890 - 1957, March 1964, cat. no.8, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue p.15;
London, Tate Gallery, David Bomberg, 17th February - 8th May 1988, cat. no.82, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, lent by Mrs Devora Barnett.

Catalogue Note

The present work has been authenticated by Lilian Bomberg on a label attached to the reverse.

Bomberg worked in Palestine from 1923-1927, a visit which was initially the result of a commission, prompted by Sir Muirhead Bone, from the Zionist Organisation to record their work in the area. However, with the assistance and encouragement of patrons such as Sir Edward Marsh, Bomberg came into contact with Sir Ronald Storrs, Military Governor of Jerusalem, who not only bought several paintings from the artist, but encouraged others to do likewise. Storrs was passionate about the preservation of the city and encouraged a number of restoration projects of historic sites in and around the city. The patronage of Storrs and his circle was in part responsible for the variation of handling and range of topographical elements seen in Bomberg's paintings of the city, with works ranging from large-scale detailed panoramas to, as here, freely painted oil sketches and drawings which reduce the city to essential forms, and indeed with hindsight we can now see how his experience in Jerusalem was to inform Bomberg's later paintings of Toledo, Cuenca and Ronda.

Coming on the heels of his abstract work of the mid to late 1910s, the Jerusalem paintings can at first appear a remarkable volte-face by an artist who had seemed to be at the forefront of the avant-garde. However, it seems that Bomberg himself felt that these paintings were an extension and widening of the prime interest of the earlier paintings, that of pictorial structure. As with many of his avant-garde contemporaries, the example of the First World War had caused a re-evaluation of the path his work was taking, and by moving back towards a more representational manner, he allowed himself to rebuild his working methodology.

The way that these varied needs were brought together is perhaps best seen in the smaller sketches of the Palestine period. The present work and the following lot are both extremely freely handled, with thickly brushed strokes of paint being used to build a physical surface that mirrors the blocky architecture. Details are almost completely banished, with the nuances of shadow being the vehicle by which the spatial recession of the subject is constructed. As the image is simplified, so the palette tends to also be confined to a small range of colours, mostly creams, ochres, reds and browns with the occasional touch of blue. Thus, the extremely rigorous strictures within which Bomberg is working reflects the extreme simplification that he had introduced into his earlier compositions such as The Vision of Ezekiel of 1912 (Coll. Tate Gallery, London).

20th Century British Art

|
London