Virtual tour: The best of British and Irish art at Christie’s

Explore two centuries of British and Irish art, offered across two London auctions — including Christie’s inaugural sale of British Impressionism

On 22 and 23 November in London, Christie’s brings to auction a wide range of work by the masters of Modern British & Irish art, including Henry Moore, Howard Hogdkin, Lynn Chadwick, Ben Nicholson, Bridget Riley, Stanley Spencer, and many more.

Leading the sale are pieces by the artists who kick-started Pop art in Britain, including Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton. Also represented at auction are their successors, among them David Hockney, Pauline Boty and Peter Blake, who would go on to launch a second wave of British Pop in the Swinging Sixties.

‘There’s a growing awareness that Pop wasn’t an all-American movement,’ says Nicholas Orchard, Senior Director of Modern British Art at Christie’s. ‘It began in Britain and continued to thrive in Britain over many years. The result is that first-rate works are available, at some very favourable prices.’

A further highlight of the Modern British & Irish Art sales is a selection of work by Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887–1976), Britain’s most famous Modernist painter. Today Lowry is best remembered for his scenes of England’s industrial north, complete with looming mills, imposing factories, smoking chimneys and massed ranks of workers. ‘My ambition was to put the industrial scene on the map because nobody [before] had seriously done it,’ Lowry said.

Also on 22 and 23 November in London, Christie’s presents its inaugural sale of British Impressionism. Featuring artists such as John Singer Sargent, George Clausen, Alfred Munnings and Stanhope Forbes, the sale spotlights the British artists who put their own spin on the radical French movement.

‘The gradual increase in awareness of the movement means prices are still very reasonable,’ says Brandon Lindberg, Head of Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art at Christie’s in London. But ‘as appreciation of British Impressionism grows,’ says, ‘we sense this is a market that will grow, too.’