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Augustus John, O.M., R.A. (1878-1961)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Augustus John, O.M., R.A. (1878-1961)

Estella Cerutti

Augustus John, O.M., R.A. (1878-1961)
Estella Cerutti
signed 'John' (lower centre right)
charcoal on blue paper
10¼ x 7¼ in. (26 x 18.2 cm.)
Executed circa 1903.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Lot Essay

The Manchester City Art Gallery houses an oil painting of the Italian sitter titled Signorina Estella Dolores Cerutti, 1902, (reproduced in M. Holroyd/M. Eaton, The Art of Augustus John, London, 1974, pl. 4 and in J. Rothenstein, Augustus John, London, 1944, pl. 5). The oil was shown at the New English Art Club, and like the present drawing, shows a curvaceous and buxom woman, in contrast to John's strong and athletic portrayals of his wife Ida Nettleship.
''Esther' Cerutti, as John called her - the very name he was to have given to his second child had it been a daughter - lived below the Johns at Fitzroy Street. In the spring and summer of 1903 he made numerous drawings of her and at least one etching. Two or three times a week she would come up to their flat and he would sometimes descend to hers. "The Cerutti's vices necessitate frequent purchases of Turkish cigarettes." John explained to Michael Salaman, "Which act as a sedative." They were a sedative for him rather than for her. Ida admired, envied and was irritated by Esther in the most confusing way. What style she had! She was an accomplished pianist, dressed superbly well and suffered from such appealing illnesses. It was almost impossible not to be provoked.' (Sir M. Holroyd, Augustus John: The New Biography, London, 1996, p.125)

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