Cecil Higgs (South African, 1900-1986) Drowned gull 43.2 x 58.4 cm. (17 x 23 in.), a copy of <I>'Cec
Lot 97
Cecil Higgs (South African, 1900-1986) Drowned gull 43.2 x 58.4 cm. (17 x 23 in.), a copy of 'Cecil Higgs - Close Up' by Dieter Bertram is also included in the lot, (2).
Sold for £6,000 (US$ 9,321) inc. premium

Lot Details
Cecil Higgs (South African, 1900-1986)
Drowned gull
signed with initials 'C.H.' and dated '52' l.l., signed 'Cecil Higgs' and dated '52 verso.
oil on canvas
43.2 x 58.4 cm. (17 x 23 in.)
a copy of 'Cecil Higgs - Close Up' by Dieter Bertram is also included in the lot, (2).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Cecil Higgs's private collection until 1974;
    Given by the artist to Professor Henry Walton.

    Exhibited:
    Cape Town, South African Association of Arts, 1965.

    Illustrated:
    D. Bertram, Cecil Higgs: close up (Cape Town, 1994), pg.55.

    In his 1994 monograph Bertram states that 'Drowned Gull' was painted in 1952 as an elegy to the memory of the artist John (Jack) Marsden Dronsfield (1900-1951) who had committed suicide the year before.

    Dronsfield's death greatly affected Higgs. In his biography on the artist Victor Hollaway wrote: "It would be difficult to over-estimate the value of her friendship with Jack Dronsfield. She has absolute faith in his judgement about matters artistic. When he died in 1951 she lost not only a friend, but a counsellor and an exacting critic on whose opinions she could rely at all times".

    Bertram concludes:
    "And finally, once more through her work, she achieved catharsis: A drowned sea-gull in a rock pool at Sea Point released her emotions. The white feathers of a gull are contrasted against against a dark and glowing background. There is a return to colour: a patch of whorled coral pink and an elusive green, a wash of lemon, a black arabesque. The painting is as mysterious and numinous as life itself".
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