• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7595

    20th Century British Art

    6 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 23

    Graham Sutherland, O.M. (1903-1980)

    Trompe d'un Moustique

    Price Realised  


    Graham Sutherland, O.M. (1903-1980)
    Trompe d'un Moustique
    signed and dated 'Sutherland 62' (upper left), signed again, inscribed and dated three times 'TROMPE/D'UN/MOUSTIQUE/24.V.62/Sutherland 6.VI.62/7.VI.62' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    39 x 31½ in. (99 x 80 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

    During the early 1960s Sutherland painted a range of insect pictures, such as Bees, 1963 (private collection) and Mantis, 1963 (Galleria Il Fauno, Turin). As with the present work - in which he has focussed on the mosquito's proboscis or 'trunk' - he enlarges the insect's features and in doing so it takes on a mechanized appearance. The 1962 painting Machine against Black Background (Otto Preminger Collection) reinforces this, and the object depicted in this has been described as 'a hybrid machine-cum-plant form' (R. Alley, exhibition catalogue, Graham Sutherland, London, Tate Gallery, 1982, p. 148).

    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 Marlborough Fine Art, London.
    with Sanluca Galleria d'Arte, Bologna.