• Three Decades with Irving Penn auction at Christies

    Sale 2397

    Three Decades with Irving Penn: Photographs from the Collection of Patricia McCabe

    14 April 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 54

    IRVING PENN (1917-2009)

    Augustus John, 1958

    Price Realised  


    IRVING PENN (1917-2009)
    Augustus John, 1958
    platinum-palladium print, printed 1976
    signed, initialed, titled, dated, numbered '6/35', 'P 236', inscribed 'For Pat, Merry Christmas' in pencil and Penn/Condé Nast copyright credit reproduction limitation and edition stamps (on the verso)
    19 1/8 x 19in. (48.9 x 48.5cm.)

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    Born in Tenby, England in 1878, Augustus John studied at the Slade School in London (1894-99). A fiery individualist, he was described by his friend, the painter Wyndham Lewis, as 'a great man of action in whose hands the fairies had placed a paintbrush instead of a sword'.

    By the 1920s, John was Britain's leading portrait painter.


    Penn, Moments Preserved, Simon and Schuster, 1960, p. 69; Penn, Passage: A Work Record, Alfred A. Knopf Callaway, 1991, p. 127; Westerbeck, ed., Irving Penn: A Career in Photography, Art Institute of Chicago Little, Brown and Co., 1997, fig. 11, p. 172, contact sheet

    Post Lot Text

    Irving Penn notes in the caption to this image in Moments Preserved : 'Augustus John addressed the camera with a portrait painter's sense of image.' (p. 69)