Dunbar, Evelyn

(1906 – 1960)

Colour study for sub-gallery spandrels at Brockley County School for Boys [HMO 551]

£2,350.00

SKU: 6685

Pencil and oil on paper. 

Size:
Height: 38.7cm
Width: 56.5cm

1 in stock

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
Roger Folley; Alasdair Dunbar; Hammer Mill Oast Collection

Exhibited: Evelyn Dunbar – The Lost Works, Pallant House Gallery, October 2015 – February 2016, cat 21.

Literature: Evelyn Dunbar – The Lost Works, eds Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2015, cat. 21, page 58;

Evelyn Dunbar: A Life in Painting, Christopher Campbell-Howes, October 2015, pages 150-152.

The adjoining sub-gallery spandrels illustrate the fables The Fir Tree and the Bramble (after Aesop, left) and The Elm Tree and the Vine (from Ovid, Metamorphoses, right). While The Fir Tree and the Bramble is not greatly edifying, The Elm Tree and the Vine is an early example of Dunbar’s fondness for literary allusion, together with a certain autobiographical element: in Ovid’s telling of the legend, the Vine (i.e. Dunbar) actively seeks the support of the Elm (i.e. Mahoney). (Classical Mediterranean vineyards often had elm supports.) In this light, this spandrel is a declaration of love.

We are grateful to Christopher Campbell-Howes for assistance.

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THE ARTIST

Dunbar, Evelyn

1906 – 1960

Evelyn Dunbar studied at Rochester School of Art, Chelsea School
of Art (1927) and the Royal College of Art (1929’33). She painted
murals from 1933 -36 at Brockley School, a collaboration with her
RCA tutor (and lover) Cyril Mahoney (1903’1968) and in 1937
they wrote and illustrated together Gardeners’ Choice. 

In 1938 she set up the Blue Gallery in Rochester, exhibiting her
own work alongside that of Edward Bawden (1903’1989) and
Barnett Freedman (1901’1958) and others. In 1940 she was
appointed an official war artist, becoming the only woman (amongst
36 men) to be given a full time salaried position by the WAAC. 

She held her only solo exhibition at Withersdane, Wye, Kent
in 1953, although the WAAC included numerous pieces in touring
exhibitions ranging from Aberdeen Art Gallery to MOMA, New York. 

A posthumous exhibition was held in 2006 at St Barbe
Museum and Art Gallery, and in 2015 Liss Llewellyn mounted a
major retrospective of her recently rediscovered studio at Pallant
House Gallery. 

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

Evelyn Dunbar
Study for July, Gardeners Diary 1938, 1937
£1,850.00
Evelyn Dunbar
Studies for Mercatora, an allegorical painting (whereabouts unknown) [HMO 173]
£2,500.00
Evelyn Dunbar
Colour study for sub-gallery spandrels at Brockley County School for Boys [HMO 551]
£2,350.00
Evelyn Dunbar
Portrait of the artist Margaret Goodwin
£2,950.00