• Old Masters and 19th Century A auction at Christies

    Sale 7842

    Old Masters and 19th Century Art

    30 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 72

    Sawrey Gilpin (Carlisle 1733-1807 London)

    Gulliver's first encounter with the Houyhnhnms

    Price Realised  

    Sawrey Gilpin (Carlisle 1733-1807 London)
    Gulliver's first encounter with the Houyhnhnms
    oil on canvas
    24 7/8 x 30 in. (63.2 x 76.2 cm.)


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    The subject is taken from the celebrated satirical novel Gulliver's Travels written by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), which was first published in 1726. In Part IV of the book Gulliver finds himself abandonned on an island ruled by intelligent horses called Houyhnhnms, a name which in their language means 'perfect by nature'. The rational behaviour of the Houyhnhms is contrasted to that of the other inhabitants of the island, the Yahoos, who are savage humanlike creatures.

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    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 9 April 1997, lot 122 (where purchased by the current owner).