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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)

Waternymphomania, circa 1928

SKU: 11173
Oil on paper, laid to board

Size:
Height – 48.3cm
Width – 34.9cm

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artist’s Studio; thence by descent
Presentation:
framed

A work unlike anything else in the entire Dunbar canon, for which no obvious documentation nor circumstances survive. Central to Dunbar’s fantasy is the tree, with two hearts transpierced by an arrow, the initials E and ? and the date, 1928. To the right the god Pan plays the double aulos, an instrument sometimes associated with orgy in Greek legend. Apart from Pan, there are some 10 human figures in the picture, two nereids, one with a fish tail, and one single foot in the top righthand corner. Of the identifiable figures, four appear to be male, five female and one, with brown tights and an orange top, is half-hidden and might be either. One of the females is mostly underwater, clinging to one of the nereids, who has just dived in. The water is flowered with waterlilies, a symbol of purity. Four of the women have been injured and are bleeding from the mouth, temple or breast. In general the mostly unprepossessing male figures appear to be trying to escape up the tree. One is being prevented from escape by a nereid clinging to his ankle.

In the spring or summer of 1928 Dunbar, then 21, spent some time in Germany, having travelled there via Holland, either alone or in the company of a man. His identity is extremely vague. It may be his indecipherable signature on a painting of a windmill he gave Dunbar, presumably as a souvenir. She kept it for the rest of her life. Despite this, Dunbar never spoke of this episode and subsequently erased everything German from her mental luggage. The above scene, the carving on the tree and the date may have no bearing whatever on her experiences.

We are grateful to Christopher-Campbell Howes, author of  Evelyn Dunbar: A Life in Painting, for the above text.

Disclaimer:
Liss Llewellyn are continually seeking to improve the quality of the information on their website. We actively undertake to post new and more accurate information on our stable of artists. We openly acknowledge the use of information from other sites including Wikipedia, artbiogs.co.uk and Tate.org and other public domains. We are grateful for the use of this information and we openly invite any comments on how to improve the accuracy of what we have posted.

THE ARTIST

Evelyn Dunbar
Evelyn
Dunbar
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. 

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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Self-portrait, c. 1927
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Allegory of Painting, c. 1935
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August, c. 1937
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Mural Roundel, 1933-1936
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
The Parlement of Foules, 1933-1936
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Gadshill House,1937
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Study for personification of June for Country Life 1938 Gardener’s Diary, subsequently not used.
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Roses From Our Garden, Nov. 3rd 1926′
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Study for Hospital Train
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Shall We Gather by the River, c. 1925
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Industry and Sloth, c.1932
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Clara Cowling gardening, circa 1928
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Invitation to the Garden, circa 1938
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Felbridge, circa 1926
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Self-portrait, c.1927
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Waternymphomania, circa 1928
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
RCA Sketch Club Summer Camp, 1930
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Pencil sketch for Portrait of an Airwoman, 1944
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Sketch for the dust cover for A Farm Dictionary (Derek Chapman, Evans Brothers, London, 1953
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The Conservatory at the Cedars
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Portrait of a Musician, 1924
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
A diagrammatic explanation of trenching or double digging
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Seated Model with Hairstyle ‘à la poissarde’, circa 1931
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An Artist at His Easel (probably Robert Lyon), late 1920s
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Studies and sketches for Putting on Anti-Gas Protective Clothing, 1940
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Studies of Leaves, 1930’s
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The Artist at Her Drawing Board, mid-1920s
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
August, 1937
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Studies of vignettes for Country Life, 1938
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Joseph’s Dream, 1938
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The Garden at the Elms, Winter, 1956
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December for the Country Life 1938 Gardeners Diary
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Design for June for the Country Life 1938 Gardeners Diary
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Design for unused title page of Gardener’s Choice, circa 1936
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Study of a figure gardening possibly for Gardener’s Diary
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Study of a young unidentified woman looking into a mirror.
£900
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Woman Selling Watermelon Slices, West Indies
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Joseph in Prison, 1949-50
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Study for July, Gardeners Diary 1938, 1937
£1,850
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Drawing of Cyclamen neapolitanum and Cyclamen Coüm for Gardeners’ Choice, 1937
£900
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Study II for designs for an embroidered quilt [HMO 689]
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Self-portrait, [HMO 766], 1958
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where Have You Been [HMO 333]
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Study I for designs for an embroidered quilt [HMO 689]
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Three sketchbooks
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Studies for Mercatora, an allegorical painting (whereabouts unknown) [HMO 173]
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Dorset, 1947-1948
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Jacobs Dream, 1960
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Men Stooking and Girls Learning to Stook. 1940
Private
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Study at Sparsholt Farm Institute for A Land Girl and the Bail Bull, 1944 [HMO 40]
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Singling Turnips, 1943
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Seven Days
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
April,1937
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
The Woodcutter and the Bees, spring 1933 [HMO 309]
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Sacking Potatoes, 1948
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Colour study for sub-gallery spandrels at Brockley County School for Boys [HMO 551]
£2,350
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
The Dunbar family in the Garden at The Cedars, Spring (Version 1), c.1928 (HMO 75)
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Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, Florence, on a Bentwood Rocking Chair, c.1930
Forthcoming
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Go Shell, proposed design for Shell petrol. c.1937 [HMO 751]
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Land Workers at Strood, c. 1938
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Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
The Childrens Shop: mice (recto), birds (verso) [HMO 749]
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Sleeping Beauty, 10 minute sketch, c.1928 (HMO 786)
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Milking Practice with Artificial Udders, 1940
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Autumn and the Poet, 1948-1960
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Portrait of the artist Margaret Goodwin