O ur European & British Art sale showcases the breadth of artistic creativity across Britain and mainland Europe during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The sale is led by William Blake-Richmond's Behold the Bridegroom Cometh, the artist's tour de force, and hailed as one of the greatest pictures during his lifetime. The Pre-Raphaelite school is represented by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and his studio assistant, Charles Fairfax Murray's watercolour of Venus Epithalamia as well as works by Marie Stillman and William de Morgan. Other highlights include pictures by John Atkinson Grimshaw, Sir William Russell Flint and Montague Dawson. Within the sale is an important group of Scandinavian works from an American collection by Anders Zorn, Eugène Jansson and Carl Larsson. The sale also includes paintings by Peder Mønsted, Paul Fisher, Wilhelm Kuhnert and Otto Friedrich.
Our sale will open for bidding on 9th December, with lots closing on 15th December from 3pm GMT onwards.
11th December 12:00PM – 5:00PM BST
12th December 12:00PM – 5:00PM BST
13th December 09:00AM – 4:30PM BST
14th December 09:00AM – 4:30PM BST
15th December 09:00AM – 12:00PM BST
Few paintings as significant as William Blake Richmond's Behold the Bridegroom Cometh have appeared at auction. Hailed as one of the artist's greatest achievements during his lifetime, it has rarely been seen in public. Impressive in scale, it depicts the subject of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.
Richmond began work on the painting in 1879, completing it in 1881 when it was first exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery.
It was purchased from Richmond in 1903 by Mrs Ada Susan Tatham, the wife of the artist's cousin, for the gallery she founded in Pietermaritzburg. It was de-accessioned in November 1961 and sold by public tender a few years later to the father of the present owners.
Works by Nordic painters Carl Larsson, Eugène Jansson and Anders Zorn are represented in the sale. Jansson’s Vårkväll is a seminal painting in the artist's celebrated 'blue period' and brilliantly captures the magic and mystique of the Swedish summer night. Anders Zorn’s Madonna encapsulates the close bond of motherhood. Danish artists are well represented from other collections; Peder Mønsted depicts the winter landscape of the Engadin Valley of the Swiss Alps whilst Paul Fischer evokes a halcyon day by the seaside at the fashionable seaside resort town of Hornbæk.
Our sale includes an important collection of British Art carefully assembled over many years. John Atkinson Grimshaw’s Fifty Years Ago is a haunting view of Yorkshire from the mid-1880s, the period when the artist painted his greatest noctures. Other highlights include a vibrant Pre-Raphaelite landscape by Waller Hugh Paton, a dramatic painting by Montague Dawson depicting one of the last American clippers Glory of the Seas and watercolours by Sir William Russell Flint capture a myriad of poses and guises of the female body.
The development of international tourism in the nineteenth century saw a rise in travellers exploring the beauty spots of Europe. As a result, city view paintings became increasingly popular, as people wanted to be reminded of the destinations they frequented. For instance, Antonietta Brandeis devoted much of her oeuvre to Venetian and Roman vedute, which were the perfect memento for tourists visiting Italy as part of the Grand Tour. Félix Ziem’s impressive view of Le Bucentaure, painted circa 1875, originally in the collection of philanthropist Mildred Anna Williams, transports the viewer to the shores of Venice and magnificent views of the Seine are depicted by Auguste Louis Marie Ottin and Edward Seago.
The sale includes four works by David Shepherd, a British artist best known for striking depictions of animals observed in their natural habitats. In addition to his work as an artist, he was also one of the world's most outspoken conservationists. Shepherd follows in the tradition of the great animalier painters of the nineteenth century such as Wilhelm Kuhnert whose beautiful depiction of a pair of tigers is a superb example.