Frank Auerbach (British, born 1931) Head of Julia III 30 x 30 cm. (11 3/4 x 11 3/4 in.)
Lot 105AR
Frank Auerbach (British, born 1931) Head of Julia III 30 x 30 cm. (11 3/4 x 11 3/4 in.)
Sold for £145,250 (US$ 243,907) inc. premium
Lot Details
Frank Auerbach (British, born 1931)
Head of Julia III
acrylic on board
30 x 30 cm. (11 3/4 x 11 3/4 in.)
Painted in 1999

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    With Marlborough Gallery, London, where acquired by the present owner
    Private Collection, U.K.

    LITERATURE:
    William Feaver, Frank Auerbach, Rizzoli, New York, 2009, p.332, cat.no.817 (col.ill.)

    The deep cobalt blue background of this striking painting by Frank Auerbach is suffused with a ceramic tile-like glaze which serves to project the head of Julia towards the viewer; the flesh-coloured tones of the face are highlighted with carefully positioned strokes of brilliant, pure white paint. The result is a superbly executed portrait that takes on a spotlit, theatrical quality. The subject's facial features are further accentuated by Auerbach's typical use of a framework of thick black lines which help to stabilise the whole composition. Discussing the artist's depiction of people Feaver has noted:

    'Auerbach's heads are conceived not as busts or cameos but as presences. Some may appear dumbstruck or grief-stricken; some are mussed with sleepiness or clenched with tension; all are open, of course, to conjecture.' (William Feaver, Frank Auerbach, Rizzoli, New York, 2009, pp.20-21).

    The sitter is Julia Wolstenholme, the artist's wife in the late 1950s; they separated soon after their marriage. Whilst she was the subject of early charcoal drawings by Auerbach, such as his 1960 Head of Julia (Private Collection) (see Fig.1), she did not become a regular model for his paintings until their reunion in 1976.
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  1. Penny Day
    Specialist - Modern British and Irish Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8366
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  2. Matthew Bradbury
    Specialist - Modern British and Irish Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8295
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7434
  3. Christopher Dawson
    Specialist - Modern British and Irish Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8296
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7434
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