John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992)

St George's Church, Portland

John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992)
St George's Church, Portland
signed 'John Piper' (lower right)
oil on canvas
28 x 36 in. (71.1 x 91.5 cm.)
Painted circa 1951-54.
Acquired by the present owner directly from the artist in the mid-1950s, with the assistance of the artist Walter Goetz.
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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André Zlattinger
André Zlattinger

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Lot Essay

Piper first visited Portland in 1929 but he did not start working there until 1948. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, this rocky headland in Dorset was painted and drawn by Piper probably more often than any other place. The present work shows St. George's Church but, like many of Piper's pictures, although it is tied to a specific place it is not intended to be topographically accurate. Combining landscape with abstraction, Piper understood place as somewhere past and present could meet. In a BBC television programme that John Read made about Piper in 1955, he was filmed drawing and painting Portland. 'In a voice-over he explains that instead of copying what he saw he rearranged things so as to make an "elaborate symbol of the place; not a view, but a history"' (F. Spalding, John Piper, Myfanwy Piper: Lives in Art, Oxford, 2009, p. 332).

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