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    Sale 5884

    20th Century British Art

    15 July 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 41

    Vanessa Bell (1879-1961)

    Looking North, Charleston

    Price Realised  


    Vanessa Bell (1879-1961)
    Looking North, Charleston
    signed with initials, and inscribed 'VB/Charleston/from VB's window' (on the reverse) and with studio stamp (on the stretcher)
    oil on canvas
    18 x 14 in. (45.7 x 35.6 cm.)

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    In 1939 an attic room at Charleston was converted into a studio for Vanessa Bell, with the insertion of a wide north-facing window, giving views across the Sussex countryside. She painted here until her death in 1961. Sometimes the view appears in still lifes of objects and flowers placed near or in front of the window; at other times she obviously peered down into the walled garden below (its perimeter wall visible here at the lower edge of the canvas); and sometimes she painted the full panorama, as here. The two elm trees afforded strong verticals at the edge of a composition or bisected it to increase spatial depth. Painting up in the top studio, alone, she was, as her daughter Angelica remarked, 'literally in heaven'.


    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 13 June 1986, lot 266.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of Bannon and Barnabas McHenry


    London, Anthony d'Offay, Vanessa Bell, Paintings from Charleston, July - August 1979, catalogue not traced.