John Piper C.H. (British, 1903-1992) Three Somerset Towers each sheet 68 x 35 cm. (26 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.); overall 68 x 121 cm. (26 3/4 x 47 2/3 in.)
Lot 88AR
John Piper C.H. (British, 1903-1992) Three Somerset Towers each sheet 68 x 35 cm. (26 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.); overall 68 x 121 cm. (26 3/4 x 47 2/3 in.)
Sold for £21,250 (US$ 35,784) inc. premium
Lot Details
John Piper C.H. (British, 1903-1992)
Three Somerset Towers
signed, titled and dated 'Three Somerset Towers/John Piper 1954' (on the backboard)
mixed media on three sheets
each sheet 68 x 35 cm. (26 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.); overall 68 x 121 cm. (26 3/4 x 47 2/3 in.)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    With Marlborough Fine Art, London
    With Browse & Darby, London

    EXHIBITED:
    London, Marlborough Fine Art, John Piper Retrospective Exhibition, March-April, 1954, cat.no.203

    'They stand apart by reason of their style, their intricate decoration, and their great height, from which they command the low flat plains of Somerset'. (Simon Jenkins, England's Thousand Best Churches, Penguin Books, 2000)

    An incessant observer of Britain's ecclesiastical landscape, it was inevitable that John Piper would illustrate examples of the Somerset towers. These distinctive and mostly Gothic constructions can be found throughout the county and are considered one of England's finest contributions to medieval architecture. The perpendicular towers are traditionally positioned on the west side of the churches and often soar to more than 100 feet.

    Executed in 1954, Three Somerset Towers is illustrated in three separate parts, thus allowing Piper to convey differing angles of his chosen churches within one overall composition. The scale of the work conveys the size of the structures and the artist's fine working aptly transcribes the rich detailing and careful craftsmanship that is inherent to the buildings and can be seen on the beautifully adorned doors and arches. The colour range, most noticeably in the left hand tower, is particularly striking and evokes the stonework for which blue lias, a regional limestone, was a popular choice.
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  1. Shayn Speed
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  2. Emma Corke
    Specialist - Modern British and Irish Art
    Bonhams
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    FaxFax: +44 20 7393 3863
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