Taking place on Wednesday 18 October, we have our Old Master, British and European Art auction. Comprising nearly 300 lots, the auction offers works dating from the 16th to the 19th century. Here we take a look at some of the highlights.
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Friedrich Nerly (German 1807-1878)
To start we have this work by German artist Friedrich Nerly (Lot 133), depicting the Palazzo Piscani in Venice. It was acquired by the grandfather of the present owner circa 1910.
Lot 133: Friedrich Nerly (German 1807-1878), 'The Palazzo Piscani, Venice', Oil on canvas | Est. £25,000-35,000 (+ fees)
Born Friedrich Nerlich in Erfurt, Germany, in 1807, he moved to Hamburg and his uncle became his first drawing instructor, who introduced him to the house of Johann Michael Speckter, a centre of intellectual and artistic liberalism in early 19th century Hamburg. In 1823 the aesthete Carl Friedrich Freiherr von Rumohr took him under his wing. Nerlich soon became his protégé and in 1828 they travelled to Italy, an experience that left a permanent mark on the artist. He remained there for the rest of his life and he changed his name to Nerly, a pronunciation closer to the Italian language. He lived in Rome for six years and became a leading figure in the German artistic community. He later moved to Venice and the present work is one of Nerly's best Venetian canvases. Having become acquainted with Joseph Mallord William Turner, who worked in Venice between 1819 and 1821, Nerly's realism absorbed an element of romanticism, as he adopted a new dramatic effect of light in his panoramas.
John Atkinson Grimshaw (British 1836-1893)
Dock scenes became one of John Atkinson Grimshaw's most recognisable subjects. These reflect the importance of trade, empire, and industrialisation in Victorian Britain. We are pleased to present this work by Grimshaw titled, 'Glasgow Docks' (Lot 169).
Lot 169: John Atkinson Grimshaw (British 1836-1893), 'Glasgow Docks', Oil on canvas | Est. £50,000-70,000 (+ fees)
Glasgow provided more than half of Britain's shipping tonnage and a quarter of all locomotives worldwide in the 1870s, leading to it being named "the Second City of the Empire".
Most of Grimshaw's dock scenes have similar compositions, with a long central vista of the street, flanked on one side by shops and the other with masts and rigging. They are a masterclass in his ability to depict numerous light sources. The rich golden glow of the shop windows is reflected on the wet pavements and the figures walking by, while the soft moonlight silhouettes the ships at anchor.
Thomas Heatherley (British 1824-1914)
Fairy painting began in the late eighteenth century with artists such as William Blake and Henry Fuseli who imaginatively illustrated the work of Shakespeare, particularly his more fanciful plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest. It reached its height of popularity between 1840 and 1870, and it was during this time that the present lot by Thomas Heatherley was painted (circa 1862).
So integral to Victorian painting was the topic of fairies, that alongside the most notable artists of this genre such as John Anster Fitzgerald, Noel Paton, and Richard Dadd, other distinguished artists of the day, including Millais and Landseer, dipped their paint brushes into the world of make-believe and folklore to paint at least one notable fairy picture.
Lot 186: Thomas Heatherley (British 1824 - 1914), 'The Golden Age', Pencil and oil on linen over millboard, oval | Est. £15,000-25,000 (+ fees)
Thomas Heatherley (1824-1913) is perhaps best known as the founder of Heatherley's Academy where many famous Victorian artists studied, including Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Arthur Hughes, and Walter Crane.
An infrequent exhibitor and painter of mainly genre and figurative subjects, Heatherley's works are seldom seen at auction, with his fairy works being particularly rare.
Richard Brakenburg (Dutch 1650-1702)
Here we take a look at Lot 9, this Dutch Old Master by Richard Brakenburg, celebrating the Feast of Saint Nicholas in emulation of Jan Steen.
Lot 9: Richard Brakenburg (Dutch 1650-1702), 'The Feast of Saint Nicholas', Oil on canvas | Est. £8,000-12,000 (+ fees)
The feast of St Nicholas takes place on the 5th of December. The most important holiday in the Netherlands, it has been celebrated in the same way for centuries. Good children receive gifts from the saint. The little girl in the foreground, for instance, carries a toy which she got from the bucket of gifts on the table on the right. Naughty children, like the wailing boy on the right, only get a bundle of twigs in their shoe.
The auction also features a number of other works from the Collection of The Bowerman Charitable Trust, including works by William Russell Flint (Lot 228), Charles Spencelayh (Lots 206-208), and Vincenzo Irolli (Lots 217-221). To view the selection of works, click here.
Lot 228: λ William Russell Flint (Scottish 1880 - 1969), 'The Choice', Oil on canvas | Est. £40,000-60,000 (+ fees)
Lot 206: λ Charles Spencelayh (British 1865 - 1958), 'Teatime', Oil on canvas | Est. £15,000-25,000 (+ fees)
Lot 216: Alexei Alexeievich Harlamoff (Russian 1840 - 1945), 'Head of a young woman', Watercolour and pencil | Est. £4,000-6,000 (+ fees)
Lot 221: Vincenzo Irolli (Italian 1860 - 1949), 'Maternita', Oil on canvas | Est. £15,000-25,000 (+ fees)
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Wednesday 18 October | 10.30am BST
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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- Viewing in London (highlights only):
- Monday 2 October: 10am-4pm
- Tuesday 3 October: 10am-4pm
- Wednesday 4 October: 10am-4pm
- Viewing in Newbury (full sale):
- Sunday 15 October: 10am-3pm
- Monday 16 October: 10am-4pm
- Tuesday 17 October: 10am-4pm
- Wednesday 18 October: from 8.30am
- Dreweatts Remote Viewing | Available from Sunday 15 October
- Dreweatts 360 Virtual Auction Tour | Available from Wednesday 4 October