John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992)
John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992)


John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992)
signed 'John Piper' (lower left), signed again, inscribed and dated 'John Piper Portland 1953' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm.)
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 23 November 1993, lot 87.
Emscote Lawn collection.
with Jonathan Clark, London.

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André Zlattinger
André Zlattinger

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Lot Essay

'My discovery of Portland was very important to me. I think it was in the late 1920s that I first went there in a very old Morris Cowley with Miles Marshall. I am a map-lover and Portland looks too extra-ordinary for words on the map, so does the adjoining Chesil beach. At that time Portland Bill was much more untidy, with great blocks of stone lying about on the low quarry shore in magnificent disarray. The derricks for loading the blocks onto the boats stood among a very small scatter of beach huts, doninated by the great triangular, pyramidal sea-mark and the black and red striped lighthouse.

The foreshore is now more ship-shape, holiday makers come in crowds and there are ranks of beach huts. Inland too there is a lot of development but the character remains: ... large-scale, airy, maritime, naval, above all workaday, and not picturesque, except by accident' (Piper quoted in Exhibition catalogue; John Piper A Retrospective Works from the Artist's Studio, Waddington Galleries, London, 1994, pages not numbered).


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