• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7595

    20th Century British Art

    6 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 50

    John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992)

    Study for Salisbury Plain under Plough

    Price Realised  


    John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992)
    Study for Salisbury Plain under Plough
    signed 'John Piper' (lower right), inscribed 'Study for 'Salisbury Plain under Plough'' (on the reverse)
    black ink, watercolour, gouache and coloured crayon
    16 x 22 in. (40.7 x 55.9 cm.)
    Executed in 1942.

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    Richard Ingrams records (Piper's Places, London, 1983, p. 123) that Piper's interest in Wiltshire 'went back to his boyhood when he had joined the Wiltshire Archaeological Society and experienced for the first time the strange atmosphere of the downland, at once wild and homely, and the pull of the prehistoric sites which had been felt by so many painters and early antiquaries like John Aubrey - the 'tree-crowned barrows', the sarsen stones, and Silbury Hill - 'dark and wonderfully shaped, like an inverted hand-turned wooden bowl'. Driving from Marlborough to Calne with Jim Richards in 1940 he noted 'that apart from a shack or so and the distant RAF depot, nothing has spoilt this area. It is still possible to see it as Gilpin saw it in 1798'.

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    with Leicester Galleries, London, where purchased by the present owner in 1955 for £85.


    Norwich, Castle Museum, Modern Movement in British Watercolour Painting, December 1957 - February 1958, no. 70.