The great he-goat

Sir John Lavery (1856-1941): My Studio Door, Tangier

SOTHEBY’S IMPRESSIVE OFFERING OF SCOTTISH PICTURES AT THE GLENEAGLES HOTEL

SALE TO BE STAGED ON THE EVENING OF AUGUST 26, 2008

THIS AUGUST, Sotheby’s will once again return to the world renowned Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, offering one of its most impressive – and in terms of value, one of its largest – sales of Scottish Pictures to date. The sale, to be staged on the evening of Tuesday, August 26, 2008, will provide a rich showcase of predominantly 20th century Scottish Art with superb examples from leading names such as William McTaggart, Sir John Lavery, George Henry, Joseph Farquharson, Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, Joan Eardley, Peter Howson and Jack Vettriano. The 260 or so lots are expected to realise in excess of £6 million.

Andre Zlattinger, Senior Director and Head of Scottish Art at Sotheby’s, comments: “The forthcoming sale successfully traces the evolution of Scottish art over the last century or so and it will be staged at a time when appreciation of the Scottish market is flourishing, with interest increasingly coming not only from Scotland and the UK but also the rest of the world. Sotheby’s recent sale in Edinburgh saw strong prices across the board and this, along with the success of countless other works in our sales over the last few years, continues to encourage great quality works on to the market. During my time at Sotheby’s, I haven’t before had the pleasure of bringing such a high quality group of Scottish works - from so many eras and movements of Scottish art history – on to the market at once.”

Spearheading the sale will be an important group of works by artists commonly known to as the ‘Scottish Impressionists’ and this offering coincides with the recently opened - and much publicised - exhibition of Impressionism & Scotland at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh. Scottish artists had close and progressive ties with France and the exhibition celebrates the Scottish taste for Impressionism and the impact of French painting on Scottish art. It explores a prosperous period in Scotland’s history, when Glasgow was second city of the British Empire and art became the domain of rich Scottish merchants and industrialists.

Sir John Lavery (1856-1941) adopted the French Impressionist techniques and two works by him will headline the Scottish Impressionist group and the sale as a whole. The first of these paintings is an exquisite composition of stunning colour entitled My Studio Door, Tangier. In the early months of 1920, the Laverys took an extended tour of North Africa and the Riviera and the centrepiece of the journey was a month long stay in Tangier. Despite the volatility of Morocco, Sir John was captivated by Tangier and had in fact purchased a house in the hills surrounding the city in the early years of the new century. My Studio Door, Tangier (illustrated on the front page) dates from the 1920s trip and it portrays a relaxed domestic setting in which Sir John’s wife, Hazel, basks on a reclining chair and a girl – most probably her daughter Alice – leans against the wall in the foreground, under the bougainvilleas on the terrace. The sunlit idyll is estimated at £400,000-600,000.

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