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Lot 330AR
MITCHELL, ADRIAN (1932-2008) PORTRAIT BY TOM PHILLIPS R.A., [1987]; AUTOGRAPH OF A FOUR-LINE VERSE ADDRESSED TO LAURIE LEE (2)
£1,000 - 1,500
US$ 1,700 - 2,500
Lot Details
MITCHELL, ADRIAN (1932-2008)
(i) PORTRAIT BY TOM PHILLIPS R.A. (b. 1937), pencil drawing, head only, signed by Tom Phillips lower right, framed and glazed, size of image 11 ½ x 9 ½ inches (29 x 24 cm), overall size 19 ¾ x 17 inches (50 x 43 cm), [1987]

This is a preliminary drawing for a large oil portrait of Adrian Mitchell which grew out of their work on his play Satie Day/Night [about the composer Satie], for which Tom Phillips made the sets and costumes. In it Adrian Mitchell is depicted in front of the poster Tom Phillips made for the play and surrounded by toys, including a model aeroplane, on the basis that it seemed reasonable to add such things 'since one of Adrian's chief characteristics as a poet is roughly to have retained the child in himself.' Satie appears as a Jack-in-the-Box.

PROVENANCE: Tom Phillips.

(ii) AUTOGRAPH OF A FOUR-LINE VERSE ADDRESSED TO LAURIE LEE, signed ('love from Adrian Mitchell'), beginning 'Golden Retrievers up on the moon...', written in two colours on the back of a card showing a picture by Edward Lear, July 1986 -- publication not traced.

Adrian Mitchell, a prolific writer and playwright; one of whose plays was directed by Peter Brook. As a journalist Mitchell was the first person to publish an interview with the Beatles. Ted Hughes wrote of him: 'Adrian Mitchell is no more naive than Stevie Smith, but like her he has the innocence of his own experience...real inner freedom and the courage of his own music. Among all the voices of the Court, a voice as welcome as Lear's fool...Humour that can stick deep and stay funny.'
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  1. Simon Roberts
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