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


Glyn Warren Philpot, R.A. (1884-1937)
with inscription 'Glyn Philpot' (on the canvas overlap) and '"JAN" 1933/Glyn Philpot' (on the artist's label attached to the reverse)
oil on canvas
20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm.)
Leonard D. Philpot.
Miss Gabrielle Cross, by 1962.
with Fine Art Society, London, where purchased by the present owner circa 2000.
London, Leicester Galleries, An exhibition of recent paintings by Glyn Philpot, February 1934, no. 55.
London, Tate Gallery, Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture by the late Glyn Philpot, R.A. (1884-1937), July - August 1938, no. 32.
Venice, British Council, Biennale XXII, May - June 1940, no. 62, as 'Head of Jan'.
Brighton, City Art Gallery, Glyn Philpot, R.A. 1884-1937, April - May 1953, no. 56.
London, Leighton House, Retrospective Exhibition: Drawings and Sculpture by Glyn Warren Philpot R.A. 1884-1937, February 1959, no. 44.
London, Art Exhibitions Bureau, Glyn Philpot, 1959-1960.
Worthing, Museum and Art Gallery, Glyn Philpot: an exhibition of paintings and drawings, September - October 1962, no. 46.

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Albany Bell
Albany Bell

Lot Essay

‘Philpot was not only one of the most gifted portrait painters in a long British tradition, but also an original and sensitive artist, whose work has a recognisably individual beauty of technique and virility of style and concept’ (R. Gibson, Glyn Philpot 1884-1937 Edwardian Aesthete to Thirties Modernist, London, 1985, p. 35)

Jan was painted in the latter half of 1933, during a period of intense productivity as Philpot prepared for his one-man exhibition at Leicester Galleries, which was to open in February of the following year. The sitter is Jan Erland, a young Norwegian friend who visited Philpot at Baynards Manor several times during the summer and autumn. He was depicted in four substantial canvases, Bather, 1933 (private collection), The Badminton Player, 1933 (private collection), Man with a Gun, 1933-34 (The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) and Man in White, 1934 (National Art Gallery of New Zealand, Wellington), all of which are sporting in tone and were exhibited alongside Jan at the Leicester Galleries in 1934. Jan very closely resembles the head and shoulders of The Badminton Player but is an intensely intimate portrait and the only one of the group to reference the sitter in the title. Jan is likely to have been a very personal portrait that Philpot was so pleased with he decided to develop into the larger work. The sitter’s gaze draws the viewer in, while the earthy tones of his skin and dry application of pigment create a tactile texture that perfectly enhances the electric blue of the background. Painted when Philpot was at the peak of his talent, Jan is an extremely powerful and intimate portrait.

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