British Drawings - (1890-1990)

‘Drawings’ is a collaborative venture combining two exhibitions that have been timed to coincide: British Drawings: 1890-1990 at Sotheran’s, and Drawings 1990-2022 at Purdy Hicks Gallery. Both shows emphasise the importance of drawing to artists of the last 120 years: though many of the artists have used myriad other art forms, they have invariably returned to the honesty of drawing, time and time again.

The artists reflect their times. The artists from 1890-1980 are very much associated with strong schools of thought. One school in particular, the Slade School of Fine Art, dominates. Its rigorous process of drawing underpins much that we see, but is of course interpreted differently artist by artist. There was most definitely a British School, and in terms of drawing its greatest, though largely unacknowledged, triumph can be found in the remarkable works produced by the artists of the British School at Rome with their use of drawing techniques dating back to the Renaissance.This catalogue contains outstanding examples by Winifred Knights, Evelyn Gibbs, Anne Newland, Thomas Monnington, Robert Austin, Alan Sorrell and Reginald Brill. Slade student Winifred Knights exemplified the teachings of Henry Tonks, (Professor of Fine Art at the Slade from 1918 to 1930), with her observation of nature and meticulous methodology, working through endless studies, which were in turn painstakingly transferred to create finished works. Gilbert Spencer, another of the Professor’s students, recalled how Tonks talked of dedication, the privilege of being an artist, that to do a bad drawing was like living with a lie, and he proceeded to implant these ideals by ruthless and withering criticism. I remember once coming home and feeling like flinging myself under a train, and Stan telling me not to mind as he did it to everyone.

Methodology aside, many of the artists in this catalogue share common traits – an obsession with the minutiae of nature, an unbreakable attachment to landscape, an immersion in the narrative tradition, and an inability to resist humour and affection for the quirky and mundane.

Works Featured in this catalogue

Frank Brangwyn (1867 - 1956)
Beer Porters, Study for Lloyds Register of Shipping, circa 1910
£15,000.00
Gillian Ayres (1930-2018)
Untitled 1993
£11,000.00
Margaret Gere (1878 - 1965)
The White Cat, Isola San Giulio, Lake Orta, 1928
£3,200.00
Douglas Percy Bliss (1900 - 1984)
Cottage with Picket Fence, 1929
£12,000.00
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
A diagrammatic explanation of trenching or double digging
£1,750.00
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Studies of vignettes for Country Life, 1938
£3,800.00
Joseph Southall (1861 - 1944)
Anna Elizabeth Baker (study for The Coral Necklace), c.1894
£6,800.00
Edith Granger-Taylor (1887 - 1958)
Three Figures, c. 1910
£2,200.00
William Strang (1859 - 1921)
Seated Nude (reclining, three quarter view)
£9,500.00
Gilbert Spencer (1892 - 1979)
God Creating the World, 1934
£2,850.00
Frank Brangwyn (1867 - 1956)
Bricklayers, a study for Rebuilding Belgium, 1915
£9,500.00
Winifred Knights (1899 - 1947)
Compositional study for The Flight into Egypt, circa 1938
£12,000.00
Robert Austin (1895 - 1973)
My bed, rainy day, 1939
£5,850.00
Hubert Arthur Finney (1905 - 1991)
The Old Stove
£4,500.00
Charles Mahoney (1903 - 1968)
Greenhouse Interior, 1930’s
£15,000.00
Winifred Knights (1899 - 1947)
Study of Blue Bells, circa 1937
£28,500.00
Gilbert Spencer (1892 - 1979)
Summer Study, 1914
£8,750.00
Gilbert Spencer (1892 - 1979)
Protective Covering
John Tunnard (1900 - 1971)
Celestial Light, circa 1950
£2,200.00
Karl Hagedorn (1889 - 1969)
Topley Pike
£8,500.00
David Evans (1929 - 1988)
Up in the Air
£3,400.00
Winifred Knights (1899 - 1947)
Cartoon for Scenes from the Life of Saint Martin of Tours
£24,000.00
Hubert Arthur Finney (1905 - 1991)
The Artist’s Model in the Studio, circa 1930
Allan Milner (1910 - 1984)
Magpie Exercise (F85), circa 1960
£2,800.00
Alan Sorrell (1904 - 1974)
The Evening Signal, 1940
£14,500.00
Robert Austin (1895 - 1973)
Self Portrait in Roman Hat, circa 1925
£9,500.00
Reginald Brill (1902 - 1974)
Study for The Rest, 1956
£3,400.00
Muirhead Bone (1876 - 1953)
Full size drawing for Winter Mine-Laying off Iceland, circa 1942
£22,000.00
Reserved
Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)
The Wind Tunnel – Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough, 1944
Anne Newland (1913 - 1997)
The Legend of Ceres, c. 1938-39
£15,000.00
Lt Richard Barrett Talbot Kelly (1896 - 1971)
An RE8 with a French Nieuport 27 fighter escort, circa 1916
£14,000.00
Frank Brangwyn (1867 - 1956)
Study for Mans Ultimate Destiny, c. 1932
£25,000.00
Robert Austin (1895 - 1973)
Midday rest, 1932
£4,500.00
Winifred Knights (1899 - 1947)
Study for the background tree in St. Martin’s, circa 1930
£7,350.00
Winifred Knights (1899 - 1947)
Italian Landscape, circa 1924
£12,500.00
Charles Mahoney (1903 - 1968)
Washing Hanging to Dry
£3,500.00
Charles Mahoney (1903 - 1968)
Still life of bread, brioche and a knife, circa 1935
£3,500.00
John Cecil Stephenson (1889 - 1965)
Madonna of the Rocks circa 1945
Evelyn Gibbs (1905 - 1991)
The Chapel, 1928
£2,750.00
Alan Sorrell (1904 - 1974)
Study for The Long Journey, 1936
£2,400.00
Reserved
Alan Sorrell (1904 - 1974)
Self Portrait, nov 1928
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Reclining Nude, 1915
£1,750.00
Albert de Belleroche (1864 - 1944)
Mata Hari (?), circa 1905
£6,750.00
Sir Thomas Monnington (1902 - 1976)
Study for Winter, circa 1922
£12,000.00
Sir Thomas Monnington (1902 - 1976)
Study for Allegory, c.1924
Sir Thomas Monnington (1902 - 1976)
Cartoon for Winter, circa 1921
Reserved
Winifred Knights (1899 - 1947)
The original cartoon for The Deluge, 1920
Reserved
Sir Thomas Monnington (1902 - 1976)
Portrait of Winifred Knights, circa 1931