• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5306

    Scottish Art

    16 April 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 165

    Peter Howson (b. 1958)

    The Crucifixion

    Price Realised  


    Peter Howson (b. 1958)
    The Crucifixion
    signed 'HOWSON' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    72 x 48 in. (182.9 x 121.9 cm.)
    Painted in 1999.

    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

    The painting depicts the model Elaine Johnson. In discussing the present work Howson stated,'I was actually captivated by her as a model. She's probably the perfect model for me. I did many drawings and quite a few paintings'.

    'One of them - yet again - landed Howson in the soup of controversy. He painted Elaine nude, crucified on the cross. He recognizes this was 'a pornographic, almost a blasphemous painting' - though he considers it a good one. Cardinal Winning was unimpressed by the quality, and shocked by the blasphemy, calling the work 'evil'. At the time, Howson was unmoved by the criticism. The painting was one of several nude studies of Elaine, which included erotic pieces. The painter had always been 'interested in eroticism. I suppose I needed to go through it'' (R.Heller, Peter Howson, Edinburgh, 2003, p. 150).

    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.


    R. Heller, Peter Howson, Edinburgh, 2003, p. 151, illustrated.