Alan Lowndes (British, 1921-1978) Child at the table 46.3 x 36.2 cm. (18 1/4 x 14 1/4 in.) (unframed)

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Lot 2*
Alan Lowndes
(British, 1921-1978)
Child at the table 46.3 x 36.2 cm. (18 1/4 x 14 1/4 in.) (unframed)

£ 3,000 - 5,000
US$ 4,100 - 6,900
Alan Lowndes (British, 1921-1978)
Child at the table
signed and dated 'Alan Lowndes/1958' (lower left)
gouache on paper
46.3 x 36.2 cm. (18 1/4 x 14 1/4 in.)
(unframed)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    The artist
    Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester
    Purchased from the above's House Sale by the present owner

    The British born actress, Elsa Lanchester (1902-1986) had an unconventional upbringing. Her parents refused to conform which led to her mother being institutionalised by her parents for refusing to marry Elsa's father. Before the outbreak of war, Elsa briefly studied under Isadora Duncan in Paris and from 1922 she appeared on stage and ran a theatre group named The Cave of Harmony. It was here that she first met James Whale (who was to later direct her in her most memorable role in Bride of Frankenstein) and her future husband, the actor Charles Laughton (1899-1962).

    Charles Laughton was born to hotel proprietors in Scarborough just before the turn of the century. His parents wanted him to eventually take over the business and Charles briefly trained at Claridge's Hotel in London. However, after serving in the war he settled in London and pursued his first love, acting, and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
    Elsa Lanchester and Charles Laughton married in 1929 and spent many years travelling between the United States and Britain for work until they became U.S. citizens in 1950.

    Laughton won an Academy Award in 1934 for the title role in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) in which he starred alongside his wife, who played Anne of Cleves. Lanchester was nominated twice. Despite the strong rumours regarding Charles Laughton's sexuality, the couple stayed together until Laughton's death in 1962.

    As well as acting, Laughton also had a great love for art and built an impressive collection, which was on view in the couple's Los Angeles home. The broadcaster, Norman Corwin, a friend of the Laughtons, wrote the following poem about the collection, 'This is a house of art/In every part/In the master's can/Cézanne;/On the kitchen wall/Maillol;/Wherever you park your ass, O/it's under a Picasso.' (Norman Corwin see David Wallace, 'A piece of Hollywood restored..', Financial Times, August 2006).

    The present and following lot by Alan Lowndes were part of this collection and were purchased from the couple's house by the present owner after Elsa's death in 1986.
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