Temple of Wings: Ann and Gordon Getty’s Greco-Roman retreat in the Berkeley Hills
Event Date25 May 2023 | Live auction 21922
This May, Christie’s presents Three Private Collections: Belgravia, Berkshire and Guernsey, featuring fine and decorative art from around the world. Whilst located and firmly rooted in the culture, craftsmanship and aesthetic of these British Isles, the sale features works of art from across five continents, and each collection has its own distinct identity.
From Guernsey, a superb group of paintings by the expatriate artist George Chinnery (1774-1852) showcases not only his superior talent as a portrait painter but also captures the essence of everyday life in 19th-century India and China as well as the rich topography of the regions, and is complimented by a group of Chinese ‘export’ paintings and works of art influenced by the landscape and nature of Asia. Dutch 17th century paintings and Sporting art, including works by John Wootton and Charles Towne hung alongside three paintings by the Victorian artist John Atkinson Grimshaw and amongst Georgian furniture. Juxtaposing these are contemporary paintings by the Balinese painter Dullah and by the Australian artists Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd and Lawrence Daws.
From Belgravia, an early interior furnished by the celebrated ‘arranger of rooms’ Robert Kime showcases fine examples of English 18th and 19th-century furniture and design from Palladian mirrors and the Gothic Revival through the Aesthetic movement to the Arts and Crafts, with pieces by renowned designers and craftsmen including William and May Morris, Pugin, Crace, Godwin and Liberty. These formed the backdrop for a wonderful group of Pre-Raphaelite paintings including works by John William Waterhouse, Sir Samuel Luke Fildes, Edward Reginald Frampton and Charles Fairfax Murray.
In a Lutyens house in Berkshire, the spirit of the Arts and Crafts movement was suffused with both traditional and contemporary works of art and paintings from around the world. Three magnificent Japanese articulated dragons held sway on Cotswolds School furniture against a colourful backdrop of fine art that includes an early painting by Ben Nicholson, South African art, a transforming still-life work by Rob and Nick Carter and two chandeliers by the artist Stuart Haygarth. Set amongst colourful textiles by Robert Kime, comfortable furniture upholstered in William Morris fabrics and displayed alongside contemporary animal sculptures, this collection created an incredibly welcoming and calming ambience.