• 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.)


    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

    Contact the department

    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).

    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.


    Provenance

    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.


    Literature

    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.


    Exhibited

    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.