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John Byam Liston Shaw, A.R.W.S. (1872-1919)
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John Byam Liston Shaw, A.R.W.S. (1872-1919)

When Love came into the House of the Respectable Citizen

Details
John Byam Liston Shaw, A.R.W.S. (1872-1919)
When Love came into the House of the Respectable Citizen
signed 'BYAM SHAW' (lower left, within a cartouche)
pencil, watercolour and bodycolour with gum arabic and with scratching out
18½ x 22 7/8 in. (47 x 58.1 cm.)
Provenance
with Lane Fine Art, London.
Literature
R.V. Cole, The Art and Life of Byam Shaw, London, 1932, pp. 196 (illustrated), 197, 212.
Exhibited
London, Royal Society of Painters in Water Colour, 1916, catalogue untraced.
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

This was a curiously light-hearted picture to exhibit during the First World War. Many artists felt compelled to comment on the hostilities in their exhibited works, whether in terms of realism or allegory, and indeed Byam Shaw himself did this elsewhere. An example, '1916', a symbolist watercolour shown with the present work at the RWS in 1916, was sold in these Rooms on 8 June 2000, lot 41. He also produced some savagely bitter cartoons on such subjects as atrocities in Belgium and the execution of Edith Cavell, publishing them in the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times and elsewhere. He joined the United Arts Rifles, and there were even plans to convert the art school he ran on Campden Hill into a factory for aeroplane parts.

Both technically and thematically, When Love came into the House shows the artist in characteristic neo-Pre-Raphaelite mode. It is a sort of jokey modern-life take on the Dantesque subjects featuring Love as a winged youth that had appealed so strongly to D.G. Rossetti and his follower Marie Stillman. The title is a little reminiscent of that of G.F. Watts's picture When Poverty comes in at the Door, Love flies out of the Window (1879), although of course the moral and sentiment are very different.
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