Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's…
Read morePROPERTY FORMERLY IN THE ESTATE OF SIR CLAUDE FRANCIS BARRY ‘Over seven decades of active work Barry’s art never became static or stale. His style evolved constantly, from the early narrative oils through the energetic Vorticist works, from the elegant etchings to the vibrant Pointillist canvases, from the chromatic landscapes to the elemental simplicity of his final works’ (K. Campbell, Moon Behind Clouds: An Introduction to the life and work of Sir Claude Francis Barry, Jersey, 1999, p. 32). Most famed for his wartime searchlight pictures, Barry created a remarkably varied body of work, which although differing in style and theme over the years, always remains imbued with an individual poetic vision. He was a gifted painter and a proficient etcher, having trained under Sir Frank Brangwyn, which encouraged a unique tonality and emphasis on composition and structure in his paintings. Travel was of great importance to Barry, who toured Italy with his tutor after leaving Harrow school and later moved around Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, before returning to St Ives in 1939, later settling in Jersey. This European influence can be seen in Barry’s bold use of colour, inspired by Matisse, as well as his interest in, and proficiency with, European painting styles such as Fauvism, Vorticism and Pointillism. Barry is somewhat of an enigma and the facts of his life are tinged with uncertainty; much of what we do know has been pieced together from documents found in an old suitcase on his death. Born into a wealthy, industrial family Barry was a reclusive figure, who was known for being as equally foul-tempered as he was wickedly witty. Having lost his mother at a young age and ostracised by his new stepmother, his life was marred with a sense of sadness. A feeling of loss and alienation is felt in some of Barry’s most poignant works, where vast nocturne skies dwarf the unseen solitary figure watching them, as seen in his evocative Wartime paintings of searchlights across London. Defying his parents’ wishes to become a painter, Barry moved to Newlyn to be tutored by Alfred East, a fashionable landscape painter and an Associate of the Royal Academy. Here he joined the Newlyn School of Painting and worked alongside the Newlyn School greats, such as Henry Scott Tuke, Norman Garstin and Stanhope Forbes, combining the Impressionist interest in light with a Victorian interest in realism. Although shunned by his family, Barry was embraced by the artistic community and by the age of 23 was exhibiting at the Royal Academy, and later the Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Society of Scottish Artists and the Salon des Artistes in Paris. In 1908 Barry moved to St Ives with his new wife Doris Hume-Spry and joined artists Laura Knight, Augustus John and Alfred Munnings, who had all settled there. Here Barry became an active member of the St Ives Club, later becoming club treasurer, and learnt to paint with a looser, more individual style. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, much of the artistic community of St Ives was disbanded, with many of the artists being called away for military service. Barry was not amongst them and instead was drafted in to do agricultural labour to support the production of supplies for troops at the front. Some state that this was due to his pacifist standing, while others believe he may have received exemption, due to prior mental health issues. Whatever the case Barry was in the prime location to record the war at home, creating some of the most striking and moving documentations of the fears civilians faced on a daily basis. His most celebrated works are those he painted during the First and Second World Wars, with his depictions of the air strikes over London being some of his most powerful paintings. This is seen to remarkable effect in Houses of Parliament - a wartime Nocturne, V.E. Day, London and Moscow Victorious, May 1945 (sold at Christie's, London, 23 November 2016, lot 33).
Sir Claude Francis Barry (1883-1970)
Sunshine Les Andelys
Sir Claude Francis Barry (1883-1970)
Sunshine Les Andelys
signed with artist's monogram '- F B -' (lower left); signed again, inscribed and dated '"Sunshine/Les Andelys"/Barry F/63' (on the reverse)
oil on board
43½ x 45½ in. (111 x 116 cm.)
Tom Skinner, the artist's executor, from whom purchased by the present owner.
K. Campbell, Moon Behind Clouds: An Introduction to the life and work of Sir Claude Francis Barry, Jersey, 1999, p. 211, no. 435, illustrated.
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. Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a filled square not collected from Christie’s by 5.00 pm on the day of the sale will, at our option, be removed to Cadogan Tate. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage.
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The present work, and lot 102, would have been painted when Barry was lodging with Tom and Pat Skinner at Les Frenes Farm, St John, Jersey.