• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5979

    Old Master, 19th Century and British Drawings and Watercolours

    9 July 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 654

    Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding, P.O.W.S. (Sowerby Bridge 1778-1855 Worthing)

    The Passing of Arthur: An illustration to 'The Idylls of the King' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding, P.O.W.S. (Sowerby Bridge 1778-1855 Worthing)
    The Passing of Arthur: An illustration to 'The Idylls of the King' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
    signed 'Copley Fielding' (lower left)
    pencil, watercolour and gum arabic with scratching out
    38 3/8 x 28½ in. (97.5 x 72.4 cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The present watercolour is an illustration to Tennyson's famous The Idylls of the King, a cycle of twelve narrative poems recounting the legend of King Arthur, published between 1856 and 1885. In this scene Arthur, dying from a mortal wound received in battle with his enemy Mordred, is carried by Sir Bedivere to a lake on the borders of Avalon where he first received Excalibur. The magical boat collects him and carries him away with three queens to Avalon.

    'Then saw they how there hove a dusky barge,
    Dark as a funeral scarf from stern to stern,
    Beneath them; and descending they were ware
    That all the decks were dense with stately forms,...
    ...Then murmur'd Arthur, "Place me in the barge."
    So to the barge they came. There those three Queens
    Put forth their hands, and took the King, and wept.'
    (Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 'The Passing of Arthur', Idylls of the King, from E.C. Stedman, ed., A Victorian Anthology, Cambridge, 1895)

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Mrs. S. Austen; Christie's, London, 10 April 1889, lot 91.
    with Henry J. Muller, Harrogate.


    Exhibited

    Paris, 1865.
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Palace of Art, North East Exhibition, 1929.