Henry Herbert La Thangue, R.A. (1859-1929)
Henry Herbert La Thangue, R.A. (1859-1929)

Ligurian olives

Henry Herbert La Thangue, R.A. (1859-1929)
Ligurian olives
signed 'H.H. LA THANGUE.' (lower right), signed again, and inscribed and titled '"Ligurian Olives"/H.H. La Thangue/Graffham/ Petworth' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
31 x 32 in. (78.8 x 81.3 cm.)
Moses Nightingale.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 4 June 2004, lot 131, where purchased by the present owner.
Anonymous, Watercolours and Oils at Hazeldene, Crawley, Sussex, 1919, privately printed, no. 107.
London, Leicester Galleries, Pictures by H.H. La Thangue RA, April - May 1914, no. 27.
Brighton, Public Art Galleries, Memorial Exhibtion of Works by the Late H.H. La Thangue RA, September 1930, no. 13, as 'Ligurian Olives, Pietra Ligure, Italy'.

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Lot Essay

On 21 March 1905 George Clausen reported to their mutual friend, Havard Thomas, that La Thangue had spent the winter near Genoa. He had been travelling regularly to Provence for five years and in 1904 had shown his first Ligurian pictures at the Royal Academy. Thereafter the Mediterranean border lands between France and Italy became his regular haunt. He was particularly captivated by remote hillside farms caught in strong sunlight in a region that was essentially bypassed by roads and railways connecting the expanding industrial centres of Milan and Turin. In this district, olive groves still relied upon mules and donkeys to harvest their fruit - a primitive form of rural labour dying before the march of mechanisation elsewhere. The charmof such scenes was evident to visitors to La Thangue's exhibition in 1914, where Walter Sickert favourably compared his work with that of Monet and Cézanne.

Ligurian Olives, from his 1911 winter sojourn at Pietra Ligure in Savona, 60 kilometres east of Genoa, was one of the first acquisitions by Moses Nightingale, the wealthy merchant from Crawley who acquired a large collection of La Thangue's work. It originally hung in his billiard room.

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