• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7424

    20th Century British Art

    16 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 55

    John Minton (1917-1957)

    The kite

    Price Realised  

    John Minton (1917-1957)
    The kite
    signed and dated 'John Minton October 1940' (lower left)
    pen and gouache
    20 x 24¾ in. (50.8 x 63 cm.)


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    Minton executed The kite in 1940 as an expression of his disapproval of the war. A year earlier in October 1939, he had registered as a conscientious objector, and the figures and desolate landscape here convey this. Frances Spalding writes, 'Though they evolved out of actual experience, he was not concerned with topographical accuracy but with using what he saw to create a theatre of the soul, and arena in which to explore Kafkaesque feelings of wretchedness, guilt and alienation. Minton often populates his scenes with ragged waifs, lonely adolescents or clinging lovers who ruminate passively on the distruction around them' (John Minton Dance Till The Stars Come Down, London, 1991, p. 36).

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