Sir John Lavery R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941) Moonrise; Tangier 25.1 x 35.3 cm. (9 7/8 x 13 7/8 in.)
Lot 21
Sir John Lavery R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941) Moonrise; Tangier 25.1 x 35.3 cm. (9 7/8 x 13 7/8 in.)
£12,000 - 18,000
US$ 20,000 - 30,000

Lot Details
Sir John Lavery R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941)
Moonrise; Tangier
signed 'J. Lavery' (lower right); further signed, inscribed and dated 'Moonrise; Tangier/John Lavery/1920' (verso) and signed, inscribed and dated again 'MOONRISE/TANGIER EVENING/LAVERY/1925' (on the backboard)
oil on canvasboard
25.1 x 35.3 cm. (9 7/8 x 13 7/8 in.)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Sale; Sotheby's, London, 18 May 2000, lot 108, where acquired by the present owner

    In January 1920 the Laverys returned to Tangier for what was to be their final Moroccan tour – one that would include a sea journey down the African coast to Rabat and from there, an overland journey to Marrakesh. However, much of the time was spent at Dar-el-Midfah, the painter's house on Mount Washington, to the south-west of Tangier, a 'beautiful suburb' according to Selwyn Brinton, '... where are some of the best European residences'. Here the painter revisited familiar motifs. At the 'cool, delicious hour of sunset' he would follow the local custom, repair to the flat rooftop of his house and there he would paint the moon rising above the villas on the distant ridges (Selwyn Brinton MA, 'An English Artist in Morocco', The Connoisseur, vol xix, 1907, p.37-8).

    A number of these small skyscapes, from various winter sojourns have survived, as indeed have larger canvases showing his Arab servants listening to music or gazing out to sea from the house-top – one such, Evening on the Housetop, Tangier, (Private Collection) was painted on the current trip. The present work, with its sensuous rivulets of paint, must surely indicate that Lavery's lyrical feeling for the handling of materials had not deserted him. Its spontaneity provides further evidence of the exuberance that such moments on the motif produced.

    We are grateful to Professor Kenneth McConkey for compiling this catalogue entry.
Auction information

The 29 May sale was the departments most successful auction to date making almost £5m.

Furthermore, it was 90% sold by value with some staggering results achieved for fresh, competitively priced material sourced from private collections. Over half of sold lots soared above their high estimates, indicating that Bonhams is best positioned to secure the best price for your Modern British & Irish Art.

The variety on offer within this genre continues to delight buyers, proven by exceptional results for post-war masters such as Auerbach, Scully, Hockney and Freud whilst the early-mid century examples by Spencer, Lavery, Burra and Moore also exceeded expectation. We were proud to break our own world auction record twice over in the same sale for a pencil drawing by L.S. Lowry. Agecroft Regatta sold for £211,250, pipping The Organ Grinder (£151,250) to the title. The sculpture and Irish content were similarly contended for by the packed saleroom and busy telephones.

The cover lot Garden Path, Cookham Rise by Sir Stanley Spencer fetched an impressive £769,250 while the much admired Oil-bound Puffin by Lucian Freud commanded £385,250 on the day, with both returning to private collections.

We are delighted to now invite consignments for the forthcoming auction on 20 November 2013.

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