View full screen - View 1 of Lot 155.   A View of Fez.
155

Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A.

A View of Fez

VAT reduced rate

Estimate:

20,000

to
- 30,000 GBP

Property from The Mina Merrill Prindle Collection

Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A.

Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A.

A View of Fez

A View of Fez

Estimate:

20,000

to
- 30,000 GBP

Property from The Mina Merrill Prindle Collection

Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A.

British

1856 - 1941

A View of Fez


signed l.l.: J Lavery lower left and inscribed, signed and dated Fez. / By John Lavery / 1919 on the reverse

oil on board

Unframed: 65 by 78cm., 25¾ by 30½in.

Framed: 92 by 104cm., 36 by 41in.

The following condition report was kindly provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.: This work has been restored and should be hung in its current state. It is painted on a large piece of canvasboard. The painting is clean and varnished. The artist intentionally incorporated some scraping and thinned pigment as part of his technique. There are no retouches throughout the entire landscape. The paint layer had become unstable in the thin strip of sky, and small losses have been retouched here. These retouches are clearly visible under ultraviolet light.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Vose Art Galleries, Boston (acquired from the artist)
Private collection (acquired from the above, 1926)
Thence by descent to the present owner
Boston, Vose Art Gallery, Exhibition of the portraits and landscapes of Sir John Lavery, December 1925 - January 1926, no.26

During the winter of 1919-20 Lavery made what was to be his final visit to Tangier. A recently recovered group of letters indicates that the painter, his wife, Hazel, and step-daughter, Alice, had arrived in the city by 7 December 1919, and were staying in the villa of Lavery’s old friend, the Times correspondent, Walter Harris.


With an exhibition in mind, Lavery planned painting trips to the ‘imperial cities’ of Marrakech and Fez when all of his practical difficulties were solved. Letters to his daughter, Eileen, and his son-in-law, the Master of Sempill, indicate he set off from Rabat, first to Marrakech and then to Fez where he, Hazel and Alice arrived on 10 April 1920. Earlier suggestions that the present work must have been painted in December 1919, supported by Lavery’s mis-dating of it, can now be discounted. It was in fact Lavery’s second visit to Fez.


As had been the case on his first visit in 1906-7, the sight of this ancient settlement in the plain of Oued, as one approached from the hills was so striking that it merited a roadside stop – the result of which is the present canvas-board. Established in 791 by Idris I, it is encircled by fortifications, nine miles in diameter – a section of which are clearly visible in the picture’s foreground.


Unlike the small City of Fez (1907), seen from a housetop viewpoint, here we are given a magnificent sweep of country looking into the distance to the sharp crystalline peaks of the Middle Atlas range. The Andalusian white architecture of the north meets the red fortresses of the southern Maghreb. The ancient Fez-el-Bali Medina, the northern market destination for the gold traders of Timbuktu, lay before him like a dream of Xanadu – but one recorded with superb executive skill. This was no mere topography but un coup de foudre.


We are grateful to Professor Kenneth McConkey for writing this catalogue entry