John Young Hunter (Glasgow 1874-1955 Taos, New Mexico)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more Property from a Distinguished Private Collection
John Young Hunter (Glasgow 1874-1955 Taos, New Mexico)

Vanity Fair

Details
John Young Hunter (Glasgow 1874-1955 Taos, New Mexico)
Vanity Fair
signed and dated 'J. Young Hunter/1911' (lower right) and further signed and inscribed 'Vanity Fair/NO. 1./J. Young Hunter/ 9 Launceston Place/Kensington' (on the artist's label attached to reverse)
oil on canvas
53 x 85 in. (134.6 x 215.9 cm.)
Provenance
with Pyms Gallery, London.
Private collection.
Literature
Royal Academy, Pictures and Sculptures, London, 1911, illustrated p. 60.
Pictures of Liverpool, Liverpool, 1911, illustrated p. 121.
Exhibited
London, Royal Academy, 1911, no. 492.
Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, Autumn Exhibition, 1911, no. 1096.
London, Pyms Gallery, Edwardian Pre-Raphaelites, the Art of John and Mary Young Hunter, June 2000, no. 48.
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.

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Clementine Sinclair
Clementine Sinclair

Lot Essay

Vanity Fair is a reprise of Young Hunter’s Royal Academy exhibit of 1899 (no. 997) entitled In My Lady’s Garden (fig. 1). This was so well received when exhibited that it was purchased by the Chantrey Bequest and is now in Tate Britain. Critics of the time thought it was one of the 'typical examples of the modern spirit … marking plainly the direction in which youthful fancy is disposed to tend’. The artist’s wife modelled for the figure, and the garden belonged to Holland House in Kensington. Young Hunter had grown up nearby in Melbury Road, the son of Colin Hunter, a successful Royal Academician. As a member of 'the Holland Park Circle' the Hunters' neighbours included Frederic, Lord Leighton, G.F. Watts and Sir Luke Fildes. John Singer Sargent was a particular friend and an early influence on the younger artist.

Colin Hunter painted mainly seascapes and the lives of fishermen, often set in the Outer Hebrides in his native Scotland. Perhaps as a reaction to this unremitting realism, his son’s art tended to be imaginative. The critic A.L. Baldry described him and his like-minded contemporaries as 'the new Pre-Raphaelites'. The phenomenon of this late flowering of Pre-Raphaelitism, half a century after the Brotherhood was founded, was celebrated in a landmark exhibition staged at the Barbican in 1989 entitled The Last Romantics.
Following the spirit of the times Young Hunter moved to Gifford Hall in Suffolk, whose gatehouse boasts turrets, pinnacles and battlements. He seems to have been driven by his enthusiasms however, for after seeing Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in London he sailed for America, pursuing his fascination for American Indians. He settled there, first in Sante Fe, and then in Taos, New Mexico, exchanging British society portraits for scenes of American Indian life.

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