Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson A.R.A. (British, 1889-1946) On the Downs 40.6 x 60.8 cm. (16 x 20 in.)
Lot 68AR
Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson A.R.A. (British, 1889-1946) On the Downs 40.6 x 60.8 cm. (16 x 20 in.)
Sold for £33,650 (US$ 53,073) inc. premium

Lot Details
Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson A.R.A. (British, 1889-1946)
On the Downs
signed 'C.RW. NEVINSON.' (lower right)
oil on canvas
40.6 x 60.8 cm. (16 x 20 in.)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    With The Fine Art Society, London, September 1966

    EXHIBITED:
    Possibly London, The Royal Academy, 1946, cat.no.551 (as House on the Downs)
    Possibly London, E.Brown & Phillips, The Leicester Galleries, Memorial exhibition of pictures by C.R.W. Nevinson, May-June 1947, cat.no.48 (as House on the Downs)

    Celebrated for some of the most enduring trench paintings of The Great War and an official war artist during WWII, Nevinson's peacetime work is more often focused on the modern world rather than the natural. Yet landscape forms an important component of his oeuvre and echoes of the artist's wider concerns can be found here by way of symbolism. On the Downs holds detailing reminiscent of the artist's wartime engagements; the scattering of poppies in the foreground and barbed wire scarring through the sun dappled hillside. However these are not the focus of the picture, our eye is led by a sweeping composition and a flock of birds in flight towards the cottage and tree clump afar; a peaceful existence nestled on the horizon.

    In style, tone and palette the present work relates to further works painted by Nevinson on the South Downs in his later years such as Summer in the Downs (Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry) and Peaceful Rhythms of the Downs (shown Royal Academy, 1941). As such a date circa 1940 would be appropriate.

    We are grateful to Christopher Martin for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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.

Please contact a member of the department or visit the sale webpage for further information.

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