拍品 2
  • 2


350,000 - 450,000 GBP
578,500 GBP


  • Ben Nicholson
  • 《1951年8月31日(聖艾維斯港,夏)》
  • 款識:畫家簽名 Ben Nicholson並記 St. Ives Harbour (Summer) Aug 31-51(背面)
  • 油彩、鉛筆畫板貼於畫板


Durlacher Gallery, New York
H. Marc Moyens, Washington, D.C. (sold: Sotheby's, London, 3rd April 1990, lot 56)
Fujii Gallery, Tokyo (purchased at the above sale)
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, 3rd November 1993, lot 56
Purchased at the above sale by the late owner


London, The Lefevre Gallery, Ben Nicholson, 1952, no. 10
New York, Durlacher Gallery, Ben Nicholson, 1952, no. 3
Washington, D.C., The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The H. Marc Moyens Collection, 1969-70, no. 50, illustrated in the catalogue


The beauty of the rugged landscape and picturesque fishing villages of Cornwall, where Nicholson moved in 1939, had an immediate impact upon his art, and remained an ever-present element in his iconography. 31 August 1951 (St. Ives Harbour, Summer) depicts the charming port of St. Ives as seen from the artist’s studio (fig. 2). In 1951 the Festival of Britain opened as a celebration of surviving the war and the great economic and cultural strides the country was making towards recovery. The Festival was formed out of a programme of exhibitions and events all over the country which had its climax in London in a vast display of national heritage, cutting edge design and art exhibited in purpose built buildings along the south bank of the Thames. Avant-garde artists Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth were commissioned to create works of art to adorn the new buildings, while Nicholson was invited to prepare a mural panel for the outside wall of a restaurant on the South Bank site. Nicholson met this opportunity with one of his strictest pieces of modernism to date – a vast two by six metre panel covered by crisply delineated forms and the barest minimum of colour. 1951 was also the year of the artist’s divorce from Barbara Hepworth and his subsequent move to a new house and studio called Trezion in St. Ives.

In 31 August 1951 (St. Ives Harbour, Summer) and other works from this period (fig. 1), Nicholson began to introduce a dual format to his compositions. By unifying an interior still-life with a distant view through the window and contrasting naïve figuration with abstraction, he succeeded in playing a sort of pictorial structure against another. As John Russell explains: ‘Around this time, Nicholson began to mix the genres: to combine, that is to say, landscape with still-life, and blend the two of them with the overlapping planes that survived from his first experience of synthetic cubism. He re-adjusted, also, the scale of these things: the tempo primo of the picture would be set by an enlarged playing-card, or an outsize version of one of his favourite jugs, or even by the disembodied handle of a jug. These are vestiges, again, of French painting: the open window theme, prime favourite of Matisse, was metamorphosed in terms of jug-scape, town-scape, and distant sea’ (J. Russell, Ben Nicholson, Drawings, Paintings and Reliefs, 1911-1968, London, 1969, p. 31).