Self Portrait in Roman Hat, circa 1925

Robert Austin

This self portrait was given by Austin to Eleanor Hudson, (Austin’s student and mistress) a watercolourist, etcher and designer best known for her depictions of women at work during the Second World. 

Study for The Rest, 1956

Reginald Brill

The Rest,  1956 (Tate -T07440)

Full size drawing for Winter Mine-Laying off Iceland, circa 1942

Muirhead Bone

Exhibited: WW2 – War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 3.

Literature: WW2 – War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 3, page 42-43.

Winter Mine-Laying off Iceland, 1942 (collection of the IWM 1932) 127 x 160 cms.

‚ĶMuirhead Bone called at the School to ask Albert [Rutherston, Ruskin Master of Drawing] & me to come to tea in Gavin’s rooms in St. John’s, to look at the progress of his picture of the mine -layer [Winter Mine-laying off Iceland, completed c.1942]…Saw the big drawings of the men laying the mines from the stern of the special ship which does this work, also other drawings of such ships’ activities, some of them very secret and unpublishable at present, which I ought not to have seen: all done at sea, under very difficult conditions, with obstacles that only Bone could surmount‚Ķ

From: The Diaries of Randolph Schwabe: British Art 1930-48, edited by Gill Clarke published by Sansom & Co. (2016).

Muirhead Bone was appointed as one of  Britain’s first official war artist in May 1916. His small black and white drawings  were widely reproduced in war-time government-funded publications. During WW2 Muirhead Bone was one of three artists to be appointed a member of WAAC committee (along with, Percy Jewett and Walter Russell). In early 1940, at the age of 64 years, Muirhead Bone was again appointed as a war artist, commissioned as a major in the Royal Marines. His pictures of the  Second World were on a much larger scale. In London he drew St Paul’s Cathedral from the ruined roof of St Bride’s Church and the destruction in the East End docks.   In Scotland he drew battleships, and minesweepers at work in stormy seas.  This  study for Winter Mine-Laying off Iceland, 1942, (collection of the IWM (LD 1932) is almost  identical to the finished  version  though smaller (the IWM oil measures (127 x 160 cm) and there is a slight difference in the positioning of the figure to the far right.

My bed, rainy day, 1939

Robert Austin

Figures resting or sleeping are amongst the subjects that Austin drew consistently. In the domestic family routine which  formed the backdrop to his work, Austin found an endless source of inspiration. Drapery was a subject that he was particularly drawn to.

Austin worked as an Official  War Artist between 1940 and 1944, whilst he was based in Ambleside with The Royal College of Art, which was evacuated there.  Mahoney and Percy Horton were among the male staff. The students were housed in two hotels, men at The Queens and women at The Salutation.

In spite of requisitioning two hotels, conditions for the Royal College of Art students were cramped. The majority of space was required for accommodation leaving precious little room for the studios which were mostly set up in lower rooms and suffered from lack of light.

The majority of Austin’s  war work is in the Imperial War Museum.

For a fuller account of this period see biographical essay, pp and The Artist as Evacuee, The Royal College of Art in the Lake District, 1940-45, Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere 1987.

 

Study for Mans Ultimate Destiny, c. 1932

Frank Brangwyn
Brangwyn’s celebrated murals for the Rockefeller Center adorn the facade of the Comcast building, situated at the heart of the center at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
 
The murals decorate the main atrium around the entrance to the lifts.

This cartoon shows Brangwyns original proposal where Christ is seen seated on a hill facing the viewer, before the Rockefeller fraternity disallowed any religious content.
The area to the left of the lettering was also eliminated in the final work.

We are grateful to Libby Horner for her assistance. This will appear as M1110 in her forthcoming Catalogue Raisonne of Brangwyn.

The White Cat, Isola San Giulio, Lake Orta, 1928

Margaret Gere

Signed and dated M GERE, 1928

Compositional study for The Flight into Egypt, circa 1938

Winifred Knights

Exhibited: Winifred Knights, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 8 June – 18 September 2016. Cat nr 171.

Literature: Winifred Knights 1899-1947, Sacha Llewellyn, Published in 2016 by Lund Humphries on the occasion of the Exhibition Winifred Knights at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 8 June – 18 September 2016. Overleaf page 176-177, details page 175.

In 1937, Knights was commissioned by the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres to produce a large Decorative Painting ( 6 x 10 ft) of the Flight into Egypt for Balcarres Castle. The narrative was set on the banks of a stream covered in bluebells . By the time the Second World War was declared, Knights had partially completed the painting, with studies of the riverbank and foliage rendered with elaborate and minute detail. As a result of Knights’ sudden death in 1947, the painting was never realised.

 When the artist Sir D. Y. Cameron saw these drawings, he admired their intensity of observation: The artist of today might laugh at my love and admiration of her work, so far removed from the spirit of our times’, he wrote. But it is timeless and of another world’

Portrait of D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

Joseph Simpson


This is the last recorded
published portrait of D.H. Lawrence, illustrated in The Sunday Dispatch, 17.02.1929, the year before Lawrence died, at the age of 45.




Illustrated: The Sunday Dispatch, 17.02.1929




David Herbert Richards “D. H.” Lawrence (1885 ‚Äì 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter. His collected works represent, among other things, an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation.

Reclining Nude, 1915

Percy Horton

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.117.

Born in Brighton, Percy Horton attended the School of Art there from 1912-1916. Drawings made in the Life Room, often as timed exercised (hence the 3 hours), formed a major part of all Art School curricula at this period. During the First Word War he became a conscientious objector and was sentenced to two years hard labour in Carlton Prison, Edinburgh, from 1916-18. After the war, he took up his studies again at the Central School of Art 1918-20 and the Royal College of Art 1922-24.

The Artist’s Model in the Studio, circa 1930

Hubert Arthur Finney

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.70.

Exhibited: The Lightbox, Woking, Out of the Shadows, 2020, cat 13

Hubert Finney was a painter, draughtsman and teacher who trained initially at Bromley School of Art, where he attended evening classes from 1915, and then at Beckenham School of Art to where he won a trade scholarship in 1918. He studied painting with Amy Katherine Browning and etching with Eric Gill. Around 1927, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where he was greatly influenced by the drawing classes of Percy Jowett. Finney would later remark:

‘He (Jewett) visited the school two or three days a week, and by the inspiration of his teaching gained our confidence and almost hero worship, transferring his own enthusiasm for drawing, and the beauty of classical construction of the human figure, to all who came under his instruction. I remember still with clarity, his beautiful selective demonstration drawings on the side of our own drawings, which we eventually cut out and treasure. But like so many things in life they became lost. It became a lively little school, and it had a small garden at the back in which we had models sittingdrawing, fine summer days. If my life at home had been happier and my father had been less disruptive in his influence in the home, these days could have been happy ones during my study in this school. One ofmy great regret is that I did not preserve or try to keep some of the drawings and paintings that I made during these formative years, when one’s vision was fresh and one’s emotional response to things was intense and full of excitement. . . .’

Study for Winter, circa 1922

Sir Thomas Monnington

Winter was Monnington’s winning submission for the 1922 British School at Rome Scholarship in Decorative Painting. The landscape is based on studies looking towards Clerebury Rings near Salisbury, undertaken during visits in 1921 to the artist’s cousin Dr. R.C Monnington. In a review in the Observer, (22nd February 1922), P.C. Konody praised Monnington’s painting for being ‚Äústeeped in the best traditions of the Italian Renaissance. His colour is dull, but there is a marked sense of style in his design‚Äù.

A link with the Italian Renaissance can be demonstrated more specifically in relation to the work of Piero della Francesca: the young peasant leaning with both hands on a spade is a possible echo from the Discovery and Proving of the True Cross (San Francesco, Arezzo). The man sitting on a rock in the middle of the composition appears to be based on the figure of St. Joseph (in reverse) in Piero della Francesca’s Adoration. I am grateful to Professor Luciano Chelles for these observations.

WWII: Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Gliders at Pegasus Bridge, July 1944

Eric Wilfred Taylor

Watercolour, Signed and dated, France 44, inscribed under mount ‘at Pegasus Bridge / Nr Ranville. July 44

Anna Elizabeth Baker (study for The Coral Necklace), c.1894

Joseph Southall

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.88.

Exhibited Maas Gallery, Drawings 2013

This is a study for a portrait of Anna Elizabeth Baker, painted in tempera on panel in 1895, Southall’s future wife. They  married her in 1903, having delayed for years, out of a sense of propriety because they were first cousins.

She appears in many of Southall’s pictures including his celebrated double portrait The Agate, 1911

Artist Joseph Southall: The Agate (Portrait of the Artist and his Wife), 1911

We are grateful to George Breeze for assistance.

Up in the Air

David Evans

Literature: “David Evans (1929-1988)”, edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, published by Liss Llewellyn Fine Art, 2017. ISBN 978-0-9930884-6-9. Cat 34, page 61.

Midday rest, 1932

Robert Austin

Italian peasants frequently took their siesta’s, or passed entire nights, sleeping in the open fields.

This was a central motif of Winifred Knights celebrated Santissima Trinita where pilgrims on their way to Valle Pietra, in the Abruzzi. rest over night.

Austin’s early plates show an extraordinary sweetness of line and often, as in his large plates of deer, beautifully unified compositions.  There is in the best sense an academic quality about these, very proper in a man who was virtually a pioneer in his his art today.  About 1929 a close study of the German masters of engraving is evident.  But Austin has passed through his probationary stage and is master not only of his technique, in which no English engraver has surpassed him, but also in using his medium in a native, personal way. Already Mr Dodgson had noticed in his work an aftermath of Pre-Raphaelitism…with its harking back to the past and its wealth of realistic detail.’

Austin’s latest plates are contemporary in subject.  At the same time his interest in Millais, the Millais of book-illustrations, is explicit.  Surely this strain, at once homely, intimate and romantic, is at the centre of the tradition of English art.  Austin’s line remains clear: his tone is given by a number of short flicks and shadings.  He is thus nearer in technique to the fifteenth-century German engravers than to Durer or Lucas van Leyden. In drawing and composition there is nothing archaic. Of recent years he has produced three or four plates regularly each year.  Of these one or two commonly represent new treatments of subjects previously treated in a rather different way.  He is fascinated with certain subjects, bells, stairs, kneeling figures, weathered wood.But he also advances to new subjects; in 1936 two very fine portraits and in 1937 the Young Mother.

Extract from The English Print, Basil Gray, Adam and Charles Black 1937, on whose cover Austin’s Young Mother featured:

Mata Hari (?), circa 1905

Albert de Belleroche

Provenance: the artist√≠’s studio; William de Belleroche; private collection

‘While his works are diverse … they celebrate foremost the womanhood of our time … These are thoroughly modern works which capture brief, reverent moments of joy, tenderness and wonder, much like the works of Sargent, Helleu or Besnard.Belleroche’s portraits of woman are iconographic’ (Roger Marx, ‘Peintres-lithographes Contemporains: Albert Belleroche’, Gazette des Beaux-Arts I, vol.39, 1908,p.74).

Along with Paul Helleu, Belleroche produced some of the most evocative images of belle-Èpoque women of his generation. Although Belleroche made a number of lithographs of women with turbans or toques around this period, none are known to relate specifically to this study.

The sitter bears a close resemblance to Mata Hari:

Belleroche made at least  on lithographic  images of Hari:

It has also been suggested that the model for this portrait was the wife of Paul Helleu who sat for Belleroche on several occasions.

We are grateful to Gordon Anderson, George Kenney and Devon Cox  for assistance.

Italian Landscape, circa 1924

Winifred Knights

In a period silver shallow-stepped frame.

Provenance: The Artist’s Estate; Anthony Mould
Exhibited: Winifred Knights, The Fine Art Society, 1995, no. 9n.
Literature: Paul Liss, Winifred Knights, 1995, p. 52

Study of Blue Bells, circa 1937

Winifred Knights

In 1937, Knights was commissioned by the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres to produce a large Decorative Painting ( 6 x 10 ft) of the Flight into Egypt for Balcarres Castle. The narrative was set on the banks of a stream covered in bluebells . By the time the Second World War was declared, Knights had partially completed the painting, with the spring flowers and foliage of the riverbank rendered with elaborate and minute detail. As a result of Knights’ sudden death in 1947, the painting was never realised. 

 When the artist Sir D. Y. Cameron saw these drawings, he admired their intensity of observation: The artist of today might laugh at my love and admiration of her work, so far removed from the spirit of our times’, he wrote. But it is timeless and of another world’.

God Creating the World, 1934

Gilbert Spencer

Spencer produced a series of drawings to illustrate The Ten Commandments in 1934 (Mill House Press). This is one of the artist’s unique proofs, squared up in pen and ink and annotated in pencil

Summer Study, 1914

Gilbert Spencer

Exhibited: Artist-Collectors, Ernest Brown & Phililips, July August 1963; 

Gilbert Spencer Retrospective Reading Art Gallery 1970

Summer: Composition with Three Children Seated in a Meadow

Bricklayers, a study for Rebuilding Belgium, 1915

Frank Brangwyn

Literature: Brangwyn at War, Dr Libby Horner, 2014, p 71

During his lifetime Brangwyn made large donations of his works to museums in the United Kingdom and abroad, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Museum, the William Morris Gallery, the Albertina in Vienna and the Gruuthuse in Bruges. As a result of this munificence, substantial drawings by Brangwyn, especially his celebrated large sheets in red and black chalk, only rarely appear on the market.

This drawings is a study for The Remaking of Belgium, issued as an auto lithograph in 1915, probably on the occaision of the Belgian Rebuilding Exhibition.


We are grateful to Dr Libby Horner for assistance

Study for the background tree in St. Martin’s, circa 1930

Winifred Knights


Literature: G.K.A. Bell,The Church and the Artist, The Studio, September 1942, vol. 124,
no. 594, p. 81.  Llewellyn, Sacha, Winifred Knights, Lund Humphries 2016

Exhibited: Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2016

In a gilded flat section frame, with square outer moulding, glazed

Knights was commissioned to paint the Milner Memorial altarpiece for Canterbury Cathedral in 1928; she finished it some five years later in  1933. It was to be the last major work completed by Knights.


Bishop Bell, who was involved with commissions for religious works from numerous artists (including Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Augustus Lunn and Hans Feibusch), described the St Martin Altarpiece as 
one of the most lovely, delicate and deeply felt modern religious paintings that I know. (G.K.A. Bell,The Church and the Artist, The Studio, September 1942, vol. 124, no. 594, p. 81).

Cartoon for Scenes from the Life of Saint Martin of Tours

Winifred Knights

In a gilded flat section frame, with square outer moulding, glazed

Knights was commissioned to paint the Milner Memorial altarpiece for Canterbury Cathedral in 1928; she finished it some five years later in  1933. It was to be the last major work completed by Knights.


Bishop Bell, who was involved with commissions for religious works from numerous artists (including Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Augustus Lunn and Hans Feibusch), described the St Martin Altarpiece as
one of the most lovely, delicate and deeply felt modern religious paintings that I know. (G.K.A. Bell,The Church and the Artist, The Studio, September 1942, vol. 124, no. 594, p. 81).

Cartoon for Winter, circa 1921

Sir Thomas Monnington

Winter
was Monnington’s winning submission for the 1922 British School at
Rome Scholarship in Decorative Painting. The landscape is based on
studies looking towards Clerebury Rings near Salisbury, undertaken
during visits in 1921 to the artist’s cousin Dr. R.C Monnington. In a
review in the Observer, (22nd February 1922), P.C. Konody praised
Monnington’s painting for being ‘steeped in the best traditions of the
Italian Renaissance. His colour is dull, but there is a marked sense
of style in his design’.

A link with the Italian Renaissance can be demonstrated more
specifically in relation to the work of Piero della Francesca: the young
peasant leaning with both hands on a spade is a possible echo from the
Discovery and Proving of the True Cross (San Francesco, Arezzo). The
man sitting on a rock in the middle of the composition appears to be
based on the figure of St. Joseph (in reverse) in Piero della
Francesca’s Adoration. I am grateful to Professor Luciano Chelles for
these observations.

Seated Nude (reclining, three quarter view)

William Strang

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.98.

William Strang was trained in the use of this highly disciplined drawing medium during his time at the Slade School of Art (1875-1883). The Professor there during this time was Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), who was one of the chief exponents in the resurgence of metalpoint during the second half of the nineteenth-century. Strang would become the assistant master in Legros’ etching class. 

An artist working in metalpoint uses a sharp, pointed 
instrument (a stylus) with a metal tip to draw on paper, 
parchment, or wood that has been specially coated. As 
the stylus travels across this slightly abrasive ground, a 
small amount of metal is scraped off and remains behind,
 creating a line.

Metalpoint is considered a challenging medium. The lines can be difficult or even impossible to erase depending on such factors as the type of ground. Unlike pen or chalk, which can produce strokes of varying thickness or darkness depending on how hard artists bear down on the instrument, silver leaves a nearly uniform line. Nonetheless, the medium offers practical and aesthetic advantages: Its portability and convenience make it particularly suited for use in sketchbooks, as artists do not have to carry an inkwell or wait for ink to dry. Silverpoint is especially resistant to smearing and therefore has the added benefit of durability. Also, the precision and subtlety of its delicate lines render it ideal for capturing fine detail. Above all, it is the shimmering beauty of metalpoint that has attracted artists across the centuries.

The medium was perfectly suited to the subtlety and technical quality of Strang’s draughtsmanship. Another silverpoint by Strang depicting a reclining female nude, viewed from behind, can be seen in the collection of the Scottish National Gallery of Art. 

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Douglas Percy Bliss

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Evelyn Dunbar

An RE8 with a French Nieuport 27 fighter escort, circa 1916

Lt Richard Barrett Talbot Kelly

This composition shows a British RE8, (a two-seat biplane reconnaissance aircraft), with a black band on the fuselage, escorted by a cream coloured Nieuport 27. (a French fighter aircraft).

Similar compositions by Kelly are in the collection of the RAF Museum, Hendon, though this – the largest recorded work of its kind – is unique in its format.

T.K. (as he was known) was commissioned in April 1915 and joined the 52nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, in May. The Brigade served  in France as part of the Divisional Artillery of 9th (Scottish) Division – this was the first Territorial Division to go to France, during which time the 9th Division spent long periods in the trenches and Kelly found himself at the battles of Festubert, Loos, 2nd Ypres and the Somme in 1916. As a gunner subaltern, his job generally would take him to live up front with the infantry where he would observe the fire of his batteries on the German positions.  He was blown up on the 5th August during a bombardment and invalided home. After his recovery, he returned to France in March 1918 to study concealment techniques and then came back to England to become Specialist Instructor in Camouflage at the School of Artillery at Larkhill. His interest in flying was such that he applied to be trained as a pilot. He was posted to the Royal Flying School at Reading but the war ended just as he was about to join his training squadron..

A book entitled ‘A Subaltern’s Odyssey, A Memoir of the Great War 1915-1917’ was published in 1980 based on Richard Talbot Kelly’s diaries

We are grateful to Andrew Cormack and David and Judith Cohen for assistance.

The Old Stove

Hubert Arthur Finney

In his unpublished memoire Finney spoke of his passion for drawing as always being with him, and his continuous sense of awakening to the beauty found in even the dreariest of surroundings, and through which his yearnings to create were increased not diminished.

We are grateful to Nicholas Finney for assistance.

Celestial Light, circa 1950

John Tunnard

Semi-abstract shapes which bring to mind distant horizons, the sea, moons, stars, planets, birds in flight, trees and skeletal forms characterise much of Tunnards oeuvre. This was especially so in the case of Tunnards 30 foot long Crystal Forms mural, created for the Festival of Britain in 1951 and displayed in the Regatta Restaurant on the South Bank, London, (now destroyed).

He worked in a variety of media including oil, tempera, gouache, watercolour and pastel. Tunnard’s  first major exhibition, held in 1932 at the Redfern Gallery, featured landscapes, marine scenes and still life. From the mid-1930s, however, he began to paint abstract works influenced by the styles of Joan Miro and Paul Klee, and further embraced British surrealism on reading Herbert Read’s Surrealism.

Tunnard had a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Jeune gallery in 1938. In her autobiography, Peggy Guggenheim described his colour as ‘exquisite: I was happy to think that I had discovered a genius.” 

Tunnard’s compositions, with their Neo-Romantic sensibility, are often compared to that of Graham Sutherland. In later life he became interested in space travel  depicting satellites and moonscapes in his paintings.

The Wind Tunnel – Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough, 1944

Barbara Jones

This composition is closely related to one of Jones Recording Britain watercolours in the collection of the V&A.


And another watercolour in the collection of RAF Hendon:

There is no record of how Jones, still in her twenties, became involved in the Recording Britain Scheme but she was one of the first artist’s to be commissioned and its most prolific contributor.

 

Recording Britain was the brainchild of Sir Kenneth Clark, who saw it as an extension of the Official War Artist scheme. By choosing watercolour painting as the medium of record, Clark hoped that the scheme would also help to preserve this characteristic English art form.

 

Recording Britain was intended to boost national morale by celebrating the country’s natural beauty and architectural heritage, but it was also a memorial to the war effort itself. The earliest pictures show the landscapes of southern England which were under immediate threat from bomb damage and invasion; in due course the remit was expanded to include those landscapes, buildings and ways of life that were vulnerable to the destructive forces of progress’ ‚Äì urban expansion, housing developments, road-building and so on.

 

The scheme employed several women, notably Barbara Jones and Enid Marx. Both were fascinated by English popular art ‚Äì everything from fairgrounds and follies to topiary and inn signs ‚Äì and both continued to record these ‘unsophisticated arts’ after the war.

 

Works for Recording Britain, which numbered over 1500 watercolours, were widely exhibited during the war years.  In 1949 the Pilgrim Trust gave them to the V&A.

 

Greenhouse Interior, 1930’s

Charles Mahoney

Mahoney’s composition brings to mind the work of his friend and RCA contemporary, Eric Ravilious. Particularly of Ravilious’ watercolour entitled ‘The Greenhouse: Cyclamen and Tomatoes’, 1935, from the collection of the Tate Gallery. 

‘In addition to our natural pleasure in beautiful plants and our experience in raising and cultivating them, we have gained a close intimacy through drawing and painting them. We have observed them as artists as well as gardeners, and have necessarily been made aware not only of the garden value of a plant and the intrinsic beauty of its flower, but of proportions, forms and contrasts, of the subtle relations of the leaf to the bloom, or the plant to its neighbour. These observations have bred in us an animate point of view which is the inspiration of our experimental gardening and the basis of our writing.'(Charles Mahoney/Evelyn Dunbar, introduction to Gardener’s Choice, 1936)

Magpie Exercise (F85), circa 1960

Allan Milner

Milner exhibited in mixed exhibitions at the Mayor Gallery, Redfern Gallery and Gimpel Fils and had solo shows at E.I.T Mesens London Gallery (1949) and Woodstock Gallery (1967).  The numbers that appear alongside Milner’s signature are actually the titles of his pictures which were classified by a series of figures, often prefixed by a letter.

Three Figures, c. 1910

Edith Granger-Taylor

Edith Granger-Taylor began painting as a child, attending the Royal Academy Schools (1910), St. John’s Wood Art School, and the Slade School of Fine Art for a term in 1919, where she studied under Henry Tonks.

The artist’s grandson writes that ‘her oil studies of this period, Edie was beginning to emphasise an aspect of colour and shape ‚Äì of pattern ‚Äì that would come to define her later, more modern’ and often near-abstract style.’ 

We are grateful to Nicholas Granger-Taylor for his assistance.

Washing Hanging to Dry

Charles Mahoney

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.60.

For drawing, Mahoney liked a textured paper, soft to the touch, such as Ingres, or still better, hand-made papers from
firms such as Hayle Mill or Barcham Green. Occasionally he bought cheap sketchbooks from Woolworth’s because
he found the paper so sympathetic as a surface for drawing. For his earliest drawings he used mainly B or 2B
pencils, but he later preferred Black Prince or carbon pencils. He often used charcoal, adding white or red crayons to
highlight drawings. Sometimes he combined these with conté crayons or pastels. For his later drawings he preferred
pen and wash, taking great trouble to mix and dilute his inks until he achieved the required tone and colour. His
drawing pens were either reservoir nibs in holders or else cartridge pens.

The original cartoon for The Deluge, 1920

Winifred Knights

The Deluge was Winifred Knights’
winning entry for the Prix de
Rome in 1920. On this full-size
cartoon, the lines are heavily
scored into the tracing paper
so that the outline could be
transferred onto the same size
canvas – now one of the prize
possessions of Tate Britain.

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, et al. Women Only Works on Paper. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p. 19.

Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.342.

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Evelyn Dunbar

Study for The Long Journey, 1936

Alan Sorrell

Exhibited: Sir John Soane’s Museum, 25 October 2013 – 25 January 2014, Alan Sorrell: A Life Reconstructed.
Literature: Sacha Llewellyn & Richard Sorrell (ed), Alan Sorrell; the Life and Works of an English Neo-Romantic Artist, (Bristol: Sansom & Co.) 2013.

The Long Jouney  – the title of one of Sorrell most evocative compositions ‚Äì exemplifies  the Neo Romantic movement which flowered during the interwar period.  The narrative both engages and unsettles the viewer – the composition suggests that more of the story is unfolding beyond the confines of the space into which the viewer peers but cannot see beyond.  

Richard Sorrell, the artit’s son has described The Long Journey as follows:

This carefully planned, double-focussed composition shows a domestic tragedy. The path leads across the bridged ditch in a sweep that suggests the journey from birth to the afterlife. The powerfully drawn trees and plants are, like those in The Artist in the Campagna, drawn from Nature.

The ‘longest journey’, to which the title refers, is from a quotation from Shelley, and it is the journey through life in a loveless marriage, and this is at least in part the subject of the book (Forster always weaves a wonderful web of cross-references). Whether or not it my father referred to this is difficult to say. He was in an unsatisfactory marriage, and the picture does have to do with death – which is an important part of Forster‘s book, but in the book nobody dies from falling out of an apple tree. It is possible. ‘The Longest Journey’ was published in 1907 by Edward Arnold (by whom Alan was offered a job as art editor). 

Topley Pike

Karl Hagedorn

Self Portrait, nov 1928

Alan Sorrell

Literature: 

Sacha Llewellyn & Richard Sorrell (ed), Alan Sorrell; the Life and Works of an English Neo-Romantic Artist, (Bristol: Sansom & Co.) 2013, pp. 30-31 & 82. Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.275.

Sorrell undertook this self-portrait one month after he had arrived in Rome to take up his two-year scholarship, and it shows him in his downstairs studio at the British School. The self-portrait makes a bold statement and the quality of draughtsmanship and commanding composition make it one of the most striking works that Sorrell produced in Rome.
The intensely observed and sharply delineated drawing of the folds and other forms

demonstrate a study of Masaccio and Piero della Francesca and other Italian Renaissance masters.
Sorrell’s presentation of himself is introspective and melancholic, reflecting his state of mind during these early days in Rome.

Protective Covering

Gilbert Spencer

From 1941 Spencer worked with the Royal College of Art at Ambleside in the Lake District.  Too old to serve in the army Spencer was active in the Home Guard as a subsection leader.  His witty observations of life in the Home Guard were captured in a series of fourteen large watercolours, which were intended for publication.  The publication however had to be abandoned after the watercolours were intercepted by the Royal Mail,  on their way  to the printers, and ripped along one side (subsequently repaired by Spencer) as an act of censorship.


Distinguished as having been an Official War Artist in both WW1 and WW2 Spencer was commissioned by the Artists Advisory Committee on four occasions as an Official War Artist in 1940, 1942, 1943, 1944.  

Troops in the Countryside, Cartwright Hall Gallery


Still life of bread, brioche and a knife, circa 1935

Charles Mahoney

For drawing, Mahoney liked a textured paper, soft to the touch, such as Ingres, or still better, hand-made papers from
firms such as Hayle Mill or Barcham Green. Occasionally he bought cheap sketchbooks from Woolworth’s because
he found the paper so sympathetic as a surface for drawing. For his earliest drawings he used mainly B or 2B
pencils, but he later preferred Black Prince or carbon pencils. He often used charcoal, adding white or red crayons to
highlight drawings. Sometimes he combined these with conté crayons or pastels. For his later drawings he preferred
pen and wash, taking great trouble to mix and dilute his inks until he achieved the required tone and colour. His
drawing pens were either reservoir nibs in holders or else cartridge pens.

Portrait of Winifred Knights, circa 1931

Sir Thomas Monnington

This portrait in profile dates to the early 1930s when Knights and
Monnington were living in Crawley Down, West Sussex.

At this time
Monnington was working on his Supper at Emmaus altarpiece, with which
this work has stylistical affinities.

Winifred Knights in her studio at the British School at Rome, circa 1924

Monnington and Knights on the occasion of their Wedding, 1925.

The Chapel, 1928

Evelyn Gibbs

Evelyn Gibbs trained as a graphic artist and more particularly as a

printmaker in etching and engraving. Born in Liverpool in 1905, the

granddaughter of an Edinburgh engraver, she enrolled at Liverpool

School of Art in 1922, winning a scholarship to the Royal College of

Art in 1926 and from there a further scholarship to the British School at

Rome in 1929, allowing her to continue and expand her practice.

Her tutor at the RCA was the excellent Malcom Osborne who

encouraged his students to observe people and landscapes in everyday

life. The Chapel was based on studies made in Westminster Cathedral.

It is interesting to compare this with another print made the same

year, The Graveside an engraving where four figures attend a burial site.

In The Chapel, prayers are being offered and candles lit in memory of the

departed. The women are so similar in these two works as to suggest the

story of a bereavement, but the treatment is very different. Daylight and

space are rendered cleanly behind the grieving figures in The Graveside,

whereas the sombre enclosed space in The Chapel depends upon shadows

and the candlelit area around the statue of the Virgin and Child. Here,

Gibbs uses emphatic hatching and cross hatching to intensify the

religious and emotional atmosphere, and it is all there in the original

drawing, ready to transfer, in reverse, to the copper plate.

Commentary by Pauline Lucas, painter, printmaker, art critic and curator is author of Evelyn Gibbs: Artist and Traveller (2001) and Rediscovery & Restoration: Murals by Evelyn Gibbs at St. Martins Church, Bilborough (2015)

Madonna of the Rocks circa 1945

John Cecil Stephenson

Exhibited: London, Drian Gallery, 22 November 23 December 1966, no 54

Stephenson was Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth’s neighbours when living at The Malls Studios in Hampstead in the early 1940’s


Henry Moore OM, CH, ‘Recumbent Figure’ 1938 (Tate)

Stephenson’s inscription on the reverse: 

The Legend of Ceres, c. 1938-39

Anne Newland

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, et al. Women Only Works on Paper. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p. 57.

This full-size cartoon was Anne Newland’s principal work during her Scholarship at The British School at Rome, which she was awarded in 1938. In correspondence with the Secretary of the School she described it as the central panel of a triptych for which she never intended to produce the side panels. The composition shows the influence of Andrea Mantegna whose works she was especially drawn to.

Ceres, according to ancient Roman myth, was the goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. Newland returned to the same composition ten years later in a related pencil drawing entitled Composition, The Legend of Ceres, (1949). In 1950, at The Royal Academy, Newland exhibited a variation on the theme, entitled Three Marys, which was loosely inspired by this earlier decorative composition.

The study of a wheatsheaf shows how Newland built up her design step by step, every element the subject of intense scrutiny. Anticoli’ refers to the artist’s community of Anticoli Corrado (located about 40 kilometres northeast of Rome) where many Rome Scholars spent the summer. On the final cartoon corrections to the design have been made in white and there are additionally accidental splashes of ink.

The Evening Signal, 1940

Alan Sorrell
The Signal was painted just before Sorrell joined the R.A.F, following the closure of the Royal College of Art, and an unsuccessful application to be a war artist. The painting conveys a deeply melancholic mood and possibly relates in part to the failiure of Sorrell’s marriage at this time.