Property from the Collection of the Late Robert Heller
PETER HOWSON, O.B.E.
signed l.l.: HOWSON;
oil on canvas
183 by 244cm., 72 by 96in.
Painted in 1992-3
Original canvas. The work appears to be in very good overall condition. Some minor and occasional abrasions to the edges of the canvas: near the centre of the upper edge, the upper left edge, and the left side of the lower edge.
Under ultraviolet light there appear to be no signs of retouching.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Flowers East, London
Glasgow, McLellan Galleries, Peter Howson: A Retrospective, 1993, no.557
R. Heller, Peter Howson, London, 2003, illustrated p.76
Sprawling, aggressive, erotic – Howson’s paintings offer an unflinching window onto the raw excesses of humanity. Recalling other infernal works such as Harrowing of Hell or Landlord's Castle, Cerberus recasts the classical hound of Hades in a phrenetic tableau of tortured flesh. Fists fly, men yell, and the cross is trampled in an explosive, whirling tragi-comedy. Greens and reds bleed into one another in a freakish cocktail of colour as bodies tangle and twist. Whether the violence and ardour of these figures is seen as horrific or heroic, Howson challenges the viewer with a vision of brutal beauty.