Keith Vaughan (British, 1912-1977) Voyage au Cythera 19.5 x 27.5 cm. (7 3/4 x 10 3/4 in.)

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Lot 1
Keith Vaughan
(British, 1912-1977)
Voyage au Cythera 19.5 x 27.5 cm. (7 3/4 x 10 3/4 in.)

Sold for £ 6,600 (US$ 9,160) inc. premium
Keith Vaughan (British, 1912-1977)
Voyage au Cythera
signed 'Keith Vaughan' (lower left), inscribed and dated 'Cythera/1941' (lower right)
pen and ink
19.5 x 27.5 cm. (7 3/4 x 10 3/4 in.)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    with The Tib Lane Gallery, Manchester
    Dr R.L. Holmes
    Thence by descent

    The island of Cythera lies between the Peloponnese and Crete and belongs to Greece, part of the Ionian Islands group. It is regarded as the isle of the goddess of love and regeneration, Aphrodite. Saturn, in revenge for having been thrown into the underworld by his father Uranus castrates him and throws his testicles into the sea where they turned into rocks. Legend has it that these two rocks are situated on the eastern coast of the island. However, ancient myth also suggests that after Venus was born from the foam created by Uranus’s genitals she drifted ashore on Cyprus, which is why the two islands are still at odds over her birthplace.

    The voyage to Cythera is a subject treated widely throughout different forms of Western artistic media. Jean-Antoine Watteau's The Embarkation for Cythera executed in 1717 and located in The Louvre is widely regarded as one of the finest surviving examples of French rococo painting, whilst Theo Angelopoulos's 1984 film Voyage to Cythera, is a touching study of a relationship between father and son after the Greek civil war.

    Drawn with a remarkable energy, at a time when the destruction of the war was at its height, the present work is one of only a handful of drawings by Vaughan made during The Blitz to appear on the open market. The two figures in the foreground of the composition, involved in an intimate embrace of solidarity, appear in a number of works by the artist from the early 1940s. One example recently sold at auction was Lay your sleeping head sold in these rooms on 6/3/2007 for £11,400.
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