William Scott, R.A. (1913-1989)
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William Scott, R.A. (1913-1989)

Bowl, Eggs and Lemons

Details
William Scott, R.A. (1913-1989)
Bowl, Eggs and Lemons
signed 'W. SCOTT' (lower right), inscribed ''BOWL, EGGS AND LEMONS' 'STILL LIFE'/PRICE 60 GNS' (on an artist's label attached to the back of the frame)
oil on canvas
20 x 26 in. (50.8 x 66 cm.)
Painted in 1950.
There is an unfinished painting of the artist's son, Robert, on the reverse.
This work is recorded in the William Scott Archive as No. 21 and will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of works in oil.
Provenance
with St George's Gallery, London, where purchased by the present owner in July 1950 for £60.
Literature
Exhibition catalogue, Three Young Collectors, London, Arts Council, 1952, p. 6, no. 34, pl. VIII.
A. Bowness, William Scott: Paintings, London, 1964, p. 33, no. 21, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, William Scott: Paintings, Drawings and Gouaches 1938-71, London, Tate Gallery, 1972, p. 42, no. 20, illustrated.
N. Lynton, William Scott, London, 2004, pp. 87-88, pl. 44.
Exhibited
Canada, British Council, The Elsie Perrin Williams Memorial Art Museum, 1951, exhibition not traced.
London, Arts Council, Arts Council Gallery, Three Young Collectors, November - December 1952, no. 34: this exhibition travelled to Nottingham, Chapel Bar Gallery, December 1952 - January 1953; Bristol, City Art Gallery, January 1953; Lincoln, Art Gallery, February 1953; Newcastle, Hatton Gallery, March 1953; and Arbroath, Art Gallery, April 1953.
London, Tate Gallery, William Scott: Paintings, Drawings and Gouaches 1938-71, April - May 1972, no. 20.
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

William Scott's still lifes of this period are closely associated with memories of his childhood, which was an impoverished one, 'The forms I use are the forms I see about me and the forms I have dreamt about as a child ... The objects I painted were the symbols of the life I knew best' (from a lecture given by the artist in 1959, see N. Lynton, op. cit, p. 70). The simple and everyday objects that William Scott has used for the present work take on an evocative and monumental aspect within his composition. The choice of these curved shapes suggests a sensuality: he said of another painting of this period, 'Behind the face of pots and pans there is sometimes another image - it's a private one, ambiguous, and can perhaps be sensed rather than seen. This image which I can't describe animates my forms. It's the secret in the picture' (A. Bowness, op. cit, p. 8).

Norbert Lynton discusses the composition of the present work, 'Bowl, Eggs and Lemons suggests a rising landscape backed by sea and sky. A cloth covers the table and shows pronounced creases, as in a Cèzanne. Like folds in a landscape, these creases point to the summit of the still life where a deep bowl, with eggs, is perched on what appears to be a rectangular griddle with a handle. Below them lie scattered lemons and a plate with grapes, all liable to roll down the broad slope of the tablecloth' (op. cit, p. 88).

Peter Meyer recalled that 'Alan Bowness, formerly director of the Tate, thought Bowl, Eggs and Lemons the best Scott he had seen. The frame is a particularly good one by the artist's brother-in-law, Robert Sielle' (private correspondence).

Sarah Whitfield is currently preparing the Catalogue Raisonné of works in oil by William Scott. The William Scott Foundation would like to hear from owners of any work by the artist so that these can be included in this comprehensive catalogue or in future projected catalogues. Please write to Sarah Whitfield c/o Christie's, 20th Century British Art Department, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT.
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