European & British Art
Online Auction: 7–14 July 2021 • London

European & British Art 7–14 July 2021 • 2:00 PM BST • London

Our European & British Art sale showcases the breadth of artistic creativity across Britain and mainland Europe during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Leading the sale is an icon of Norwegian art, Harald Sohlberg's 1911 watercolour Winter Night in the Mountains, a composition recently celebrated as Norway’s national painting. Other Nordic works include an atmospheric harbour view by Vilhelm Hammershøi and an important oil of Finnish poet Larin Paraske by Albert Edelfelt.

Highlights by British artists include a rediscovered study of an Italian girl by Frederic, Lord Leighton dating from the 1870s – the artist’s most fertile period. Also offered for the first time in its history is Sir Frank Dicksee’s large and mysterious painting of a wood nymph, The Moon Maiden. The sale includes a varied group of superb works by Sir Alfred Munnings, the master of equestrian painting – his The Start captures the energy, movement and excitement of a race at Newmarket, whilst Crossing the Ford demonstrates the artist’s dexterity with watercolour.

Scenes of Italian life are well represented in Eugen von Blaas’s depiction of a Venetian courtship; and Rudolf von Alt’s view of the Bay of Naples, recently restituted to the heirs of Malvine Stern.


Exhibition Times

Saturday 10th July12:00PM – 5:00PM BST
Sunday 11th July 12:00PM – 5:00PM BST
Monday 12th July10:00AM – 5:00PM BST
Tuesday 13th July10:00AM – 5:00PM BST
Wednesday 14th July10:00AM – 12:00PM BST

Auction Highlights

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Mountains of Emotion: Sohlberg and the Summit of Norwegian ArtBy Christian House

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The Equestrian Art of Sir Alfred James Munnings

For Alfred Munnings there was no subject more worthy or more fascinating to him than the horse. In this sale we are delighted to offer five exceptional and varied horse paintings. In 1908, Munnings depicted a beautiful white pony called Augereau in a watercolour of ponies crossing a ford, a subject he revisited, fascinated by capturing the movement of the horses and water. As an enthusiastic equestrian and hunter Munnings joined the Western Foxhounds in Cornwall. His grey mare, bought in 1913, a perfect balanced animal – ‘not too large, strong, active and short in the leg’ - is depicted in an oncoming, vibrant hunting scene - titled December Morning, Cornwall. Moonraker is nestled in foliage in an idyllic scene at Bawden's farm yard near Withypool, titled White Pony and Rufus and Master Munn, both of whom were among Munnings’ favourites are painted in a preparatory study for one of Munnings’ masterpieces My Wife, my Horse and Myself. Lastly, Munnings skill is displayed in his depiction of a start of a race. The energy of horses in movement and the jockeys poise and grace are masterfully captured in his view of a race at Newmarket – titled The Start and painted circa 1950.

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A Romantic View: Dutch Paintings

Just like their seventeenth century predecessors, the Dutch romantic painters of the nineteenth century believed that their landscapes, townscapes, genre scenes and marine views were paintings to be lived with rather than lived up to, adapting them for the ordinary family home. Our sale includes offerings by artists including Johannes Koekkoek, Nicholas Rosenboom and Jacob Maris.

Three works by Johannes Koekkoek allude to the artist’s love of marine landscapes. The backdrop of The Port at Enkuizen from 1892 shows the Drommedaris, a defence tower for the old harbour of the town in the sixteenth century. Today, it houses a 44 bell carillon where by tradition the city carillonneur of Enkhuizen rings the bell every Thursday at noon.

Rosenboom’s Skaters on the IJ, Amsterdam, set in the beautiful hazy light of the early evening, shows a group of cheerful skaters enjoying themselves on the glassy, dark ice. Whilst many of these artists, among them Cornelis Springer, were topographically accurate when painting cityscapes, others took the liberty to adjust reality to their own vision, adding or omitting details for artistic effect.

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The Figure in Art

Victorian artists and painters of the Belle Époque had a love of the fantastical and whimsical, whether it be the romance and drama of literature and legend or the exoticism of foreign lands. Classical mythology was the inspiration for many of the most famous paintings of the period and the July sale will include several rarely-seen examples, such as Mnemosyne the Goddess of Memory painted by Frederic Leighton for the ceiling of the first Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Moon Maiden by Frank Dicksee painted for the Mayor of Liverpool which is offered for the first time in its history.

Literature inspired several of the highlights of the sale including Charles Shannon who painted The Fisherman and the Mermaid after reading Oscar Wilde’s The House of the Pomegranates and Edward Mathew Ward who painted Shakespeare’s Lear and Cordelia.

Whilst literature was the inspiration for some artists, the picturesque costumes of other countries stimulated painters like Eugen Von Blass who painted the courtship of a Venetian fisherman in No Love Without Envy, William Bouguereau who painted the delightfully tender Italian mother in Le Sommeil and Leighton’s Head of Girl which also depicts an Italian model in campagna dress.

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Marine Paintings

Paintings of marine subjects in the sale include four works by modern master of the genre John Steven Dews, that once graced the walls of the 75 metre luxury yacht Leander G.

Emma Leander G was ordered in October 1990, by Brigadier Sir Timothy Landon and sold shortly after to Vice Admiral Sir Donald Gosling KCVO RNR. Under his ownership, Leander G was a popular charter yacht and hosted illustrious guests, not least the British Royal Family. She had a high repeat rate, with one charterer returning 22 times.

As well as the celebrated artist John Steven Dews, there are two works in the sale by one of the foremost nautical painters of the 20th century Montague Dawson. Executed with exacting precision by artists completely immersed in the maritime world, within the group are ships racing off Norris Castle, the tea clipper Shun Lee in Pacific Seas, the 150-ton ketch Medora (owned by J.F. Swann, grandfather of John Steven Dew’s great friend, the London art dealer Oliver Swann), the yachts Brynhild, Brynhild II and Samuel Pepys and another large oil depicting a battle on high seas by the German artist Michael Zeno Diemer.

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