GRAHAM SUTHERLAND, O.M.
signed Sutherland (lower right)
pencil, pen and ink, crayon, watercolour, gouache and wash on paper, squared for transfer
unframed (window): 48 by 62cm., 19 by 24¼in.
framed: 68.5 by 63.5cm., 27 by 25in.
Executed in 1948.
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Unexamined out of frame. There are a number of Artist's pinholes to the work. There are a few small instances of accretions within the paint, in line with the Artist's working methods, and studio detritus to the sheet. There are a few small instances of staining and foxing. There is some possible very light surface dirt in places. There are a few possible extremely minor scuffs. This excepting, the work appears in very good overall condition with strong vivid colours throughout.
The sheet is window mounted and held behind glass in a stained wooden frame.
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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 provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour 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 because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Giorgio Soavi, Milan, until 2009
Sotheby's Milan, 21 April 2009, lot 39
Private Collection, South Africa, until 2016
Graham Sutherland made his first trip to the South of France in 1947, a visit which would come to have a profound impact on his both his life and artistic aesthetic. Sutherland returned every summer to the Cote d’Azur where he mingled with glamorous expats such as Somerset Maugham and met both Picasso and Matisse. In 1955 he and his wife Kathleen bought a house in Menton, near the Italian border. The house had been designed in the 1930s by the modernist architect Eileen Gray and had stunning vistas over the Mediterranean and a lush garden planted with mandarin trees, mimosa and a tangled jungle of olive vines, a central motif in Sutherland’s later work.
Sutherland's palette had always been colourful, but now he swapped the cooler ochers of the primeval Pembrokeshire landscape for the saffron yellows and hot pinks of the Provencal countryside. The present work was painted in 1948 the same year as the magnificent oil Large Vine Pergola No.2 (British Art Council Collection). Both works reverberate with colour and dry heat and their construction owes much to the influence of Picasso and Cubism which afforded Sutherland’s pastoral Neo-romantic style a distinctly modernist geometry.
This sojourn to the warmth of the Cote d’Azur came in stark contrast to the austerity of post-war Britain with its cold winters, rationing and stagnant cultural scene. Sutherland’s naturally bohemian spirit was at home in France and his works from this period can be considered some of his most impassioned. With its depiction of gnarled vines illuminated by the large Mediterranean sun the present work is a sizzling example of Sutherland’s exquisite Provencal painting.