• 20th Century British And Irish auction at Christies

    Sale 7789

    20th Century British And Irish Art

    12 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 37

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

    The Dancer

    Price Realised  


    John Craxton, R.A. (b. 1922)
    The Dancer
    signed and dated 'Craxton 51' (lower right), inscribed and dated again 'The Dancer 1951' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    24 x 17 7/8 in. (61 x 45.5 cm.)

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    This painting dates from the Festival of Britain year of 1951, when Craxton was designing sets and costumes for Frederick Ashton's Covent Garden ballet Daphnis and Chlöe, to music by Ravel, and with Michael Somes and Margot Fonteyn dancing the lead roles.

    As the son of Royal Academy of Music professor Harold Craxton, and the brother of oboist Janet Craxton, the artist enjoyed a musical upbringing and has had a life-long interest in dance. This image was also inspired by an archaic marble carving of a dying soldier admired in Athens during prolonged trips to Greece from 1946 which would eventually lead to his living for part of every year in Crete.

    We are grateful to Ian Collins, currently working on a John Craxton monograph, for his help in compiling this catalogue entry. Anyone with information for the book can contact the author c/o Christie's, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT.

    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 by Michael Powell at the 1951 exhibition.


    London, Leicester Galleries, John Craxton Paintings and Drawings 1950 and 1951, December 1951, no. 15.