• 20th Century British Art auction at Christies

    Sale 5886

    20th Century British Art

    16 December 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 49

    John Craxton, R.A. (b. 1922)

    Cretan landscape

    Price Realised  


    John Craxton, R.A. (b. 1922)
    Cretan landscape
    signed, inscribed and dated '"Cretan Landscape"/Craxton 51' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    7¼ x 12 in. (8.5 x 30.5 cm.)

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    The area is called Malevisi, near Heraklion, where the name of the wine Malmsey originates. We are very grateful to John Craxton for his assistance in cataloguing the present lot.

    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.
    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    Purchased at the 1951 exhibition by the present owner.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that following the artist's death in November no Artist's Resale Right is payable on this lot.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of the late Pauline, Lady Rumbold

    When my aunt, Pauline, Lady Rumbold, died earlier this year at the age of 81 she left a collection of pictures accumulated over a lifetime rich in people, parties, husbands, lovers and all the civilised pleasures art, literature and music afford.
    The daughter of playboy aristocrat and Gargoyle Club founder David Tennant and actress Hermione Baddeley, she was as much an acquirer of friends as of art and perhaps it's that which gives her collection its unique personality. So many of the paintings she bought or was given came from artists who were long-standing friends (Michael Wishart, Craigie Aitchison), while I like to think the Lucien Freud drawing may well be a momento of her love affair with Freud as a legendarily beautiful young woman. By the end of her life every surface of her house in Wilton bore a picture or an object and every shelf a book, many of which have gone to friends and relations who sorely miss Pauline's exuberance, intelligence, irreverence and generosity. The public auction of these pictures, the finest in her collection, is a fitting tribute to the sensibility of a woman who was an actress, poet, wife, mother and intellectual, but perhaps first and foremost a connoisseur of life itself.

    Laura Tennant, October 2009.


    London, Leicester Galleries, John Craxton, December 1951, no. 36.