• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7591

    British Art on Paper

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 41

    Sir William Russell Flint, R.A., P.R.W.S., R.S.W. (1880-1969)

    Nine Studies

    Price Realised  

    Sir William Russell Flint, R.A., P.R.W.S., R.S.W. (1880-1969)
    Nine Studies
    signed 'W. Russell Flint' (lower right)
    red and black chalk
    16 5/8 x 28 in. (42.2 x 71.1 cm.)


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    One of the great proponents of watercolour, Flint was no less a remarkable draftsman and the present drawing is arguably one of the finest he executed. Flint executed many of his drawings not as studies, but as he says 'done for their own sakes, done with enjoyment which lured me away from, or which saved me from-I do not know which is correct- weightier work. Over and over again when a pose has attracted me I have hammered away at variations of it in the hope of getting at least one drawing 'just right''. He continues 'Drawing is not merely a matter of vision and skill: it is these, plus knowledge, plus a selective faculty, plus the emotion which may transmute a few lines into something permanently satisfying and perhaps-who knows?-as beautiful as loving eyes or as splendid as the flicker of the white ensign above a lean, swift ship at sea.' W. Russell Flint, Drawings, London, 1950, pp. 3-4.

    In the present drawing Flint also uses one of his favourite techniques of using more than one colour. He remarks on his 'craving for colour, however sedate ... Often I add work with other earth colours, browns, dull reds, blue black and black the king of them all (loc.cit.).

    The present drawing is a virtuoso exercise not only in drawing, but in the depiction of the female form. Flint was fascinated by the female form, he believed that 'a beautiful woman is one of the marvels of creation and adequate portrayal a matter of extreme difficulty'. 'Early slavery at 'the antique' left me, I suppose with a feeling for classical form and I have been remarkably lucky in getting models with what might be called Artemisian figures. The Rubenesque type is not for me.' One can pick out some of Flint's favourite models in the present drawing, Cecilia, Nicolette, Monica amongst others, arranged in this perfectly formed tableau.

    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

    with Richard Green, London, 1997, where purchased by the present owner.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR


    Exhibited

    Richard Green, An Exhibition of Drawings by Sir William Russell Flint, RA, PRWS, 1880-1969, January 1991, no. 34, illustrated.