Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A CORPORATE COLLECTION
Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979)

A Mill and Pool

Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979)
A Mill and Pool
signed 'Hitchens' (lower left), signed again, inscribed and dated 'A Mill and Pool 1960/in possession of the artist/by IVON HITCHENS/Greenleaves./Petworth. Sussex' (on a label attached to the stretcher)
oil on canvas
24 x 54 in. (60.8 x 137.2 cm.)
with Leicester Galleries, London.
Howard Bliss, 1961, by whom presented to The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals in North Africa.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals in North Africa; their sale, Christie's, London, 14 December 1973, lot 259.
with Waddington Galleries, London, where purchased by A. Herbage.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 7 June 1985, lot 135, where purchased by the present owners.
A. Bowness (ed.), Ivon Hitchens, London, 1973, no. 181, illustrated.
London, Arts Council of Great Britain, Three Masters of Modern British Painting: Ivon Hitchens, Stanley Spencer, Graham Sutherland, June - July 1961, no. 21: this exhibition travelled to Plymouth, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Cheltenham.
London, Tate Gallery, Ivon Hitchens: A Retrospective Exhibition, July - August 1963, no. 138; this exhibition travelled to Bradford, Bradford City Art Gallery, August - September 1963; and Birmingham, City Museum and Art Gallery, September - October 1963.
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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.
Sale room notice
Please note that the last line of the provenance should read:

with Montpelier Sandelson, London, where purchased by the present owners.

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André Zlattinger
André Zlattinger

Lot Essay

By 1960, Hitchens had begun to use freer, bolder brush marks and less rigid compositional structures. He moved further away from naturalism towards greater abstraction, a trend that was to continue for the next two decades, until his death in 1979. It did not, however, mean that he was any less involved in the experience of nature, which remained the indispensable source of his inspiration.

In the present painting the mill and bridge are reduced to a pink rectangle and a blue arc, demonstrating the strict economy of form in Hitchens' later work. The calligraphic sweeps of vibrant colour over bare canvas, however minimally defined, still suggest the reflection of trees and dappled shifts of light over water. The spectator can trace in the picture the passage of Hichens' eye as it picks up information, and follow the movement of the brush translating it into pictorial language (A. Causey, exhibition catalogue, Ivon Hitchens A Retrospective Exhibition, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1979, p. 18).

The painting was at one time owned by Howard Bliss, who was as much an evangelist as a collector of Hitchens. Through his kindness and enthusiasm, the Art Exhibitions Bureau was able, in the 1950s and 60s, to draw freely on his collection to tour a varying group of up to fifty works in all genres throughout the United Kingdom and, in 1961, in the main cities of Australia.

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