Winifred Nicholson (British, 1893-1981) Spring 51.5 x 61 cm. (20 1/4 x 24 in.)
Lot 90
Winifred Nicholson (British, 1893-1981) Spring 51.5 x 61 cm. (20 1/4 x 24 in.)
Sold for £66,000 (US$ 107,848) inc. premium

Lot Details
Winifred Nicholson (British, 1893-1981)
Spring
oil on canvas
51.5 x 61 cm. (20 1/4 x 24 in.)

Footnotes

  • Winifred Nicholson was not an artist who repeated herself. Each painting bears the stamp of fresh experience. She naturally had themes she returned to throughout her long career, but it was the variations they offered that inspired her. Perhaps chief among her subjects were flowers on a windowsill, set against a luminous distance. The flowers were pot plants, or, frequently, wildflowers popped into jars, vases, jugs, bowls – any handy or chosen vessel. But it was the translucency of flowers, the way sunshine passes through (or settles on) petals and leaves, lighting up their vital colour, that fascinated and challenged Nicholson more than anything. She saw light, and the surprising ways in which it is teased into endless subtleties of colour, as the painter’s almost visionary business.

    Window light casts shadows, and shadows often played a telling part in Nicholson’s paintings. Her shadows were not, however, dense and opaque, but infused with their own inner light and colour. Spring (and this may or may not be her title) unusually, but not uniquely, shows shadows cast but does not show the objects casting them. She observed how the window structure and the narcissi on the sill were projected. On the same surface rests a bowl she has filled with small spring flowers. These flowers – crocuses, scillas, snowflakes, field pansies – are hardly florists’ material, being fragile and short stemmed. They don’t live long in water. They are however exactly the kind of flowers Winifred would have picked as a child, and continued to pick as an artist, gathering them to make a small indoor garden in a bowl. In this painting they are a quickly seen, poignant celebration of the diminutive and jubilant pleasures of spring. Spring was her favourite season.

    We are grateful to Christopher Andreae for compiling the catalogue entry for this work, which will be included in his forthcoming book on the artist, to be published by Lund Humphries in June 2009.
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Similar Items