• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7591

    British Art on Paper

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 58

    Augustus Edwin John, O.M., R.A. (1878-1961)

    Primitive subject: female head study

    Price Realised  


    Augustus Edwin John, O.M., R.A. (1878-1961)
    Primitive subject: female head study
    brush and brown ink, brown wash
    13 x 10¼ in. (33 x 26 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 drawing and lot 59 are examples of John's 'primitive style'. John emigrated to Paris in September 1905 with Ida, Dorelia and the children. Although John spent a great deal of time subsequently in France, after 1907 he would not live in Paris again. Towards the end of his stay there in the summer of 1907 John met Picasso and wrote to Henry Lamb 'I saw a young artist called Picasso whose work is wonderful in Paris'. The two painters visited each others studios and John saw Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. He was impressed with Picasso's work chiefly because it was steeped in the past and inspired by Puvis de Chavannes and revealed 'elements derived from remote antiquity of the art forms of primitive peoples', Chiaroscuro, p. 69. For another example of a female head in primitive style see Christie's, London, 14 May 1993, lot 97.

    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.


    with The Lefevre Gallery, London, October 1999, where purchased by the present owner.