Keith Vaughan (1912-1977)
Keith Vaughan (1912-1977)

Blast Furnace Series

Keith Vaughan (1912-1977)
Blast Furnace Series
signed 'Keith Vaughan' (lower right under the mount)
watercolour, ink, gouache, charcoal and pastel
13 x 9 in. (33 x 22.8 cm.)
Executed in 1950.
Dr. Patrick Woodcock.
Sebastian Walker.

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

This series of drawings (lots 98 - 100) was originally presented by the artist in lieu of medical fees, to his friend, executor and general practitioner, Dr. Patrick Woodcock.

The theme of labour occurs often in Vaughan's subjects and especially during the years following the war. He frequently depicted workmen in both gouaches and oil paintings and also filled sketchbooks with pencil studies of labourers, manual workers, farmers, railway porters, newspaper sellers, builders, road-workers, gardeners, machine operators and coalmen.
The present works generate poetic associations between the sulphurous industrial environment and more traditional visions of hell. Moreover they stand as notable social documents and in this respect are related to Graham Sutherland's war-time gouaches made in the steel works in Cardiff and Swansea. Vaughan executed these images only four years after the war and during a period of significant optimism and patriotism in Britain when toil and labour were associated with progress and regeneration. The Festival of Britain, for which Vaughan painted the interior of the Dome of Discovery, was held the following year and celebrated achievements in industry, engineering and manufacturing.
All three paintings were completed in situ by the artist and so a spontaneous and direct handling of materials is evident. Gouache is mixed and diluted with Indian ink to produce Vaughan's characteristic frothing textures which equate with the smoke-filled and sulphurous atmosphere of the factory. More formal pictorial accents are supplied by pen and ink drawing and wax crayons.

We are very grateful to Gerard Hastings for preparing the catalogue entries for lots 98-100 and 124.

More from 20th Century British Art

View All
View All