The Best of British Art Showcased in Summer Sales

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Launch Slideshow

This summer, Sotheby’s will showcase the very best of British art from the 19th and 20th centuries in the summer sales of Modern & Post-War British Art, The Colourists: Pictures from the Harrison Collection and VictorianHoward Hodgkin: Working on Paper and Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art. Highlights include John William Waterhouse’s beautiful 1901 painting The Siren and a painting by Stanley Spencer, appearing in public for the first time in over half a century. Click ahead to see more.

Modern & Post-War British Art
12 June 2018 | London

The Colourists: Pictures from the Harrison Collection and Victorian
12 June 2018 | London

Howard Hodgkin: Working on Paper
12 June 2018 | London

Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art
12 July 2018 | London

The Best of British Art Showcased in Summer Sales

  • Sir Stanley Spencer, R.A., Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta: Punts by the River
    Estimate £3,000,000–5,000,000.
    Unseen in public for over half a century, Stanley Spencer’s Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta: Punts by the River is one of the highlights of our June sale of Modern & Post-War British Art. Spencer was an artist for whom the intimate and everyday were inseparable from the eternal and ineffable. In his work, ordinary people and familiar places are transformed, with his native village of Cookham and the surrounding countryside and Thames river becoming a Holy Land, filled with miracles and divine intervention.

    Modern & Post-War British Art
    12 June 2018 | London

  • Henry Moore, Rocking Chair No.2
    Estimate £800,000–1,200,000.
    Henry Moore’s Rocking Chair series are amongst the most intimate and personal works created throughout his career. Initially conceived as ‘toys’ for his young daughter Mary, they incorporate Moore’s life-long fascination with the Mother and Child theme, but with a warmth and informality that truly sets them apart. As the only kinetic works produced by the artist, and cast in a small series of six, the present work was acquired in the early 1960s and has not been seen in public since.

    Modern & Post-War British Art
    12 June 2018 | London

  • L.S. Lowry, Industrial Panorama
    Estimate £1,000,000–1,500,000.
    One of the most celebrated and popular British artists of the past century, Lowry shot to fame for his instantly recognisable depictions of the industrial north, including Manchester and the surrounding areas. With tall bellowing chimneys and spiking church steeples Lowry depicted the scenes and characters that he encountered every day on his rounds as a rent collector in the city. As Lowry famously said 'My ambition was to put the industrial scene on the map, because nobody had done it...'. These industrial landscapes were celebrated in the recent Tate retrospective, which cemented Lowry’s position as one of the great social documenters of the past century.

    Modern & Post-War British Art
    12 June 2018 | London

  • William Scott, R.A., Berlin Blues 2
    Estimate £350,000–450,000.
    As a quintessential British abstract artist Scott was pulled between American and European modernism, and in November 1963 he moved to Berlin on the invitation of the Ford Foundation as artist-in-residence at the Berliner Künstlerprogramm. Living and working in Berlin inspired Scott to produce a distinctive group of large-scale canvases, the Berlin Blues, which were predominantly painted upon his return to the U.K. Scott evidently favoured Berlin Blues 2, and selected it as the basis for a stamp design he created for the Eire postal service in 1973.

    Modern & Post-War British Art
    12 June 2018 | London

  • Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, R.S.A., R.S.W., Reflection
    Estimate £400,000–600,000.
    Reflection of 1915 is a symphony in refined elegance, quiet contemplation and refracting light. Influenced by Whistler Cadell’s colour harmonies are always subtle and well balanced and in Reflection, the cool greys and whites are punctuated with bright accents of pink and blue in the porcelain, the roses on the mantelpiece and the warm tones of the woman’s flushed cheeks and red lipstick. The setting was the elegant drawing room of Cadell’s Edinburgh home at 130 George Street; the model was his muse for at least fifteen years, Miss Bertia Don Wauchope.

    The Colourists: Pictures from the Harrison Collection and Victorian
    12 June 2018 | London

  • George Leslie Hunter, The Bay, Juan-les-Pins
    Estimate £150,000–200,000.
    Bursting with vibrant colour and filled with Provencal warmth The Bay, Juan-les-Pins is one of the finest landscapes by Hunter to come to the market. Painted during an extended stay on the Cote d’Azur The Bay, Juan-les-Pins is animated with lively human activity and alive with bright colour – luscious flicks of scarlet, canary yellow and turquoise dance over the surface of the beach.

    The Colourists: Pictures from the Harrison Collection and Victorian
    12 June 2018 | London

  • Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, R.S.A., R.S.W., The White Room
    Estimate £300,000–500,000.
    In his studio in Edinburgh’s New Town Cadell created glamorous interiors echoing those of Edouard Manet. Cadell had studied for three years in Paris from the age of sixteen and it was in these formative years that French art excited, inspired and influenced his initial painting style. Refined, languid and modern, The White Room painted in 1915, was a synthesis of his study of Manet’s work, with its pared-down colour scheme of black on white punctuated with the bright accents of striking colour.

    The Colourists: Pictures from the Harrison Collection and Victorian
    12 June 2018 | London

  • Samuel John Peploe, R.S.A., Michaelmas Daisies and Oranges
    Estimate £300,000–500,000.
    Michaelmas Daisies and Oranges dates from Peploe’s mature period in the mid-1920s and the voluptuous contrasts of colour and form echoes the still-lifes of Cézanne, reproductions of which Peploe kept pinned around his studio as inspiration.

    The Colourists: Pictures from the Harrison Collection and Victorian
    12 June 2018 | London

  • John William Waterhouse, The Siren
    Estimate £1,000,000-1,500,000
    The Siren was last sold over thirty years ago but is famous from illustrations in books and from prestigious exhibitions. Painted by one of the most popular Victorian artists, it depicts a typically beautiful young girl with long red tresses and pale naked skin. She playing a lute and looking down into a surging sea, at the figure of a spellbound mariner.

    Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art
    12 July 2018 | London

  • Sir Alfred Munnings, December Morning, Cornwall
    Estimate £150,000–200,000.
    The greatest equestrian artist of his generation, Alfred Munnings was continually inspired by horses and never more so than when he was depicting hunters. In this radiant image of a crisp sun-lit morning, the movement of the fox-hounds and the rider has a wonderful sense of movement and spontaneity.

    Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art
    12 July 2018 | London

  • Stanhope Alexander Forbes, The Quarry Team
    Estimate £200,000–300,000.
    The Quarry Team has a fascinating history, having been attacked with an umbrella by a suffragette in 1894 when it was first exhibited. The realism of the scene depicts the hardships of life in Cornwall in the late nineteenth century but also the heroism of the workers and their powerful beasts.

    Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art
    12 July 2018 | London

  • Edward Lear, Corfu from the Hill of Gastouri
    Estimate £250,000–350,000.
    For Edward Lear the island of Corfu was a paradise of blue seas, clear skies and sun-scorched landscape and his favourite view was from the Hill of Gastouri looking towards the ancient citadel and the snow-capped peaks of the Albanian mountains beyond.

    Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art
    12 July 2018 | London

  • Howard Hodgkin, Swimming.
    Estimate £25,000-35,000.
    Twelve leading British artists were invited to design the official London 2012 Olympics posters. Hodgkin was amongst those who contributed, alongside artists including Bridget Riley, Michael Craig-Martin, Tracey Emin, Gary Hume and Rachel Whiteread. Swimming was widely regarded as the most successful poster, with Jonathan Jones of The Guardian commenting ‘to see Howard Hodgkin, grand old man of sensuous painters, reach into the deep blue to create a dreamlike metamorphosis of athlete and water, the diver and the pool, is beautiful. This is more poetry than mere poster.

  • Howard Hodgkin, Back cloth design for ‘Rhymes with Silver’.
    Estimate £15,000-25,000.
    Hodgkin loved and knew a great deal about the performing arts, and was interested in designing for the theatre ever since he was a child. Sold to benefit the Mark Morris Dance Group, Back cloth design for ‘Rhymes with Silver’ reveals Hodgkin’s strikingly simple design for the backdrop for the production with original music by Lou Harrison, as part of a series of productions with the cellist Yo Yo Ma. Rhymes with Silver was first performed by the Mark Morris Dance Group at Zellerbach Hall, University of California, Berkeley on 6th March 1997.

  • Howard Hodgkin, Indian Waves No.32.
    Estimate £40,000-60,000.
    Indian Waves No.32 is from a series of hand-painted gouaches, which were executed in 1990-91 at 107 Workshop in Wiltshire with Jack Shirreff and Andrew Smith. Painted onto handmade paper from India, the raw material often produced unexpected results that Hodgkin appreciated for its expressive potential. This work was only recently rediscovered and has never been exhibited before.

  • Howard Hodgkin, For Alan 1.
    Estimate £5000-7000.
    For Alan 1 is one of a small group named after Alan Cristea, Hodgkin’s long standing friend and the dealer of his editioned work, worked on by Hodgkin with hand-colouring by Andrew Smith. Speaking in 2017, Alan Cristea described how, asked by Hodgkin to guess the title of the print, he saw only “an unexploded bomb in a sea of blood…the print he declared was called “For Alan”…Flattered and embarrassed, I rather foolishly asked whether he thought of me as a bomb on a short fuse. He just chuckled but he must have liked the composition because he went on to make six further colour variations of the same composition.”

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