• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7729

    20th Century British Art

    21 May 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 24

    Sir Stanley Spencer, R.A. (1881-1959)

    Avalanche, Switzerland

    Price Realised  


    Sir Stanley Spencer, R.A. (1881-1959)
    Avalanche, Switzerland
    signed with initials and dated 'SS 36' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    18 x 22 in. (45.7 x 55.9 cm.)

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    In 1933 Spencer created a small group of paintings after a visit to Sir Edward Beddington-Behrens at Saas Fee, a village in the Swiss Alps. Spencer's patron hoped that the religious lives of the Alpine villagers would provide him with inspiration for a series of works. The artist made a second journey in 1935 after which he painted the present work, which draws on the themes in his largest painting from the series A Souvenir of Switzerland (private collection).

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    Commissioned by Sir Edward Beddington-Behrens in 1935.
    Purchased by F. Scaramanga from the artist in 1936.
    with Leger Gallery, London, 1947.
    Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, 1952.
    with Agnew's, London.


    M. Collis, A Private View of Stanley Spencer, London, 1972, pp. 66-67.
    K. Bell, Stanley Spencer A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, London, 1992, pp. 439-440, no. 185, illustrated.


    London, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Recent Paintings by Stanley Spencer, June 1936, no. 19.
    Leeds, City Art Gallery, Temple Newsam House, Paintings and Drawings by Stanley Spencer, July 1947, no. 34.
    London, Royal Academy, Stanley Spencer, September - December 1980, p. 147, no. 170, illustrated.