• Sporting Art, Wildlife and Dog auction at Christies

    Sale 5983

    Sporting Art, Wildlife and Dogs

    11 March 2010, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 46

    Sir Peter Markham Scott (1909-1989)

    Swan Fall at Welney

    Price Realised  


    Sir Peter Markham Scott (1909-1989)
    Swan Fall at Welney
    signed and dated 'Peter Scott 1972' (lower right) and inscribed 'Swan Fall at Welney./by/SIR PETER SCOTT.' (on a typed label on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm.)

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    Pre-Lot Text


    Sir Peter Markham Scott was born in London, the only child of Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott and sculptor Kathleen Bruce from whom he inherited his artistic talent. He was only two years old when his father died on the ill-fated polar expedition. Robert Scott, in a last letter to his wife, advised her to 'make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games'.

    In 1948, Scott founded the Severn Wildfowl Trust (now the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) with its headquarters at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. In the years that followed, he led ornithological expeditions worldwide to places such as Iceland, Australasia and the Pacific. He also co-founded the World Wildlife Trust (now the World Wide Fund for Nature) and designed their Panda logo. He also illustrated several books including Wild Chorus, Morning Flight, A Thousand Geese, Wild Geese and Eskimos, and his autobiography The Eye of the Wind, plus many more such as an illustrated an edition of Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose.

    A renaissance man, in many ways Scott demonstrated a competence in whatever discipline he chose to take up; he was an accomplished ice skater, an Olympic Bronze medalist for single-handed dinghy sailing and British Open Gliding Champion.

    Scott's atmospheric paintings depict birds in their natural habitat, closely observed from life. With striking form, composition, colour and attention to detail, the present lots aptly illustrate why he is positioned as one of the finest ornithological artists of the 20th Century.