Glyn Warren Philpot, R.A. (1884-1937)
Glyn Warren Philpot, R.A. (1884-1937)


Glyn Warren Philpot, R.A. (1884-1937)
oil on canvas
33¾ x 35 in. (86 x 89 cm.)
Painted circa 1929.
The estate of Gabrielle Cross, the artist's niece, from whom purchased by the present owner, 1997.
D. Philpot, Manuscript Catalogue of Paintings by Glyn Philpot, c. 1938-57, p. 13.
Exhibition catalogue, Exhibition of paintings and sculpture by the late Glyn Philpot, R.A. (1884-1937), London, Tate Gallery, 1938, p. 2, no. 42, illustrated.
R. Gibson, exhibition catalogue, Glyn Philpot 1884-1937: Edwardian Aesthete to Thirties Modernist, London, National Portrait Gallery, 1984, p. 26.
Exhibition catalogue, Images of Christ: religious iconography in twentieth century British art, Northampton, Central Museum and Art Gallery, 1993, p. 52, no. 21, illustrated.
Q. Stevenson, ‘Gabrielle Cross and Glyn Philpot’, exhibition catalogue, Glyn Philpot RA, London, Fine Art Society, 1997, pp. 6, 8, illustrated.
J.G.P. Delaney, Glyn Philpot: His Life and Art, Aldershot and Brookfield (VT), 1999, pp. 90, 121, pl. 20.
London, Gieves and Arlington Galleries, Guild of Catholic Artists and Craftsmen Exhibition, November - December 1930, no. 55.
Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, The 1937 international exhibition of paintings, October - December 1937, no. 241.
London, Tate Gallery, Exhibition of paintings and sculpture by the late Glyn Philpot, R.A. (1884-1937), July - August 1938, no. 42.
Preston, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Christianity in Art, October - November 1938, no. 34.
Darlington, 1939, no. 22, catalogue not traced.
Eastbourne, Towner Art Gallery, 120th Special Exhibition, Christianity in Art, 1940, no. 22.
London, Leicester Galleries, Paintings, drawings and sculpture by Glyn W. Philpot (1884-1937), September - October 1944, no. 105.
Brighton, City Museum and Art Gallery, Glyn Philpot, R.A. (1884-1937), April - May 1953, no. 49.
Northampton, Central Museum and Art Gallery, Images of Christ: religious iconography in twentieth century British art, March - May 1993, no. 21: this exhibition travelled to London, St Paul's Cathedral, June - July 1993.

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Pippa Jacomb
Pippa Jacomb

Lot Essay

Glyn Philpot established a distinguished reputation as a painter of society portraits in the years before the outbreak of the First World War, and was rewarded with election as an A.R.A. in 1915 and R.A. in 1923 at notably young ages. He was never content to rest on his laurels, however, and the last years of his career in the 1930s saw him adopting a style heavily influenced by progressive Parisian painting which alienated much of his clientele. While portraiture was his main source of income, he always interspersed commissioned portraits with subject paintings ranging from genre and ballet subjects to the religious, mythological and mystical. The more eccentric of these often proved hard to sell and were to remain in the collection of his family for many decades after his death.

Philpot had converted to Catholicism shortly after he turned twenty-one in October 1905, according to his niece Gabrielle Cross, and a series of works of religious subject followed: in 1918 The Adoration of the Three Kings, in 1922 The Repose on the Flight into Egypt (Tate Britain; Delaney, op. cit., colour pl. 12), and The Altarpiece of the Sacred Heart (destroyed; Gibson, op. cit., fig. 12; Delaney, op. cit., fig. 11) and in 1925 The Angel of the Annunciation (Brighton Museum and Art Gallery; ibid., colour pl. 16). His interest in religious themes was clearly heightened by his election in 1929 as President of the newly constituted Guild of Catholic Artists and Craftsmen, formed to celebrate the centenary of Catholic emancipation. In that year he exhibited at the Royal Academy Balthazar (Gibson, op. cit., no. 42), painted a large Saint Michael for the church of Saint Peter, Morningside, Edinburgh (ibid., fig. 20), and executed The Threefold Epiphany (ibid., fig. 18; Delaney, op. cit., colour pl. 19). The following year saw The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (Gibson, op. cit., fig. 17) exhibited at the Royal Academy, and this painting, executed probably at Lansdowne House in Holland Park, according to the catalogue of his paintings compiled by the artist’s sister Daisy, and The Christmas Constellation (ibid., fig. 19) painted specially for the first exhibition of the Guild.

Quentin Stevenson feels that ‘Resurgam is certainly one of the best of his religious paintings’ (loc. cit.). Both he and Paul Delaney, however, criticise Philpot for the way that the religious image has been eroticised, something of which the artist himself was surely unaware. The physiognomy of Christ is certainly unusual, although in other respects the painting was clearly loosely inspired by late fifteenth century representations of the subject seen on the painter’s regular visits to Italy in the 1920s.

We are grateful to Charles Beddington for his assistance with this catalogue entry. The painting will be included in his catalogue of Philpot’s paintings and sculpture currently in preparation.

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