Peter Lanyon (1918-1964)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Peter Lanyon (1918-1964)

Landscape and Cup (Annunciation)

Peter Lanyon (1918-1964)
Landscape and Cup (Annunciation)
signed 'Peter Lanyon' (lower right); signed again twice and inscribed ' LANDSCAPE AND CUP/Peter Lanyon./LANDSCAPE/AND CUP/Peter Lanyon' (on the reverse)
oil on panel
12 7/8 x 15 7/8 in. (32.6 x 40.3 cm.)
Painted in 1946.
Sheila Lanyon, and by descent to Jonathan Lanyon, 1975.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 23 May 1984, lot 229, where purchased by Stanley J. Seeger.
His sale; Sotheby's, London, 14 June 2001, lot 80.
with Austin/Desmond Fine Art, London, where purchased by the present owner in 2002.
A. Causey, Peter Lanyon, Henley-on-Thames, 1971, p. 43, no. 10, pl. 5.
A. Lanyon, Portreath: The Paintings of Peter Lanyon, Newlyn, 1993, pp. 22-23, no. 7, illustrated.
M. Garlake, Peter Lanyon, London, 1998, n.p., illustrated.
C. Stephens, Peter Lanyon: At the Edge of Landscape, London, 2000, p. 52, no. 26, illustrated.
M. Garlake, The Drawings of Peter Lanyon, Aldershot, 2003, p. 4.
A. Causey, Peter Lanyon: Modernism and the Land, London, 2006, p. 47, no. 22, illustrated.
T. Treves, Peter Lanyon: Catalogue Raisonné of The Oil Paintings and Three-Dimensional Works, London, 2018, pp. 14, 18, 23, 39, 60-61, 157, 168, 170-173, 175, 179, 180-183, 278, no. 201, illustrated.
St Ives, G.R. Downing Bookshop, 1947, no. 2, as 'Annunciation', catalogue not traced.
St Ives, New Gallery, Paintings and Sculptures: Sven Berlin, Peter Lanyon, W. Barns-Graham, John Wells: Recent Printings by Guido Morris, August 1947, no. 63, as 'Annunciation', n.p.
St Ives, G.R. Downing Bookshop, Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture & Specimens of Printing, September 1947, no. 6, as 'Landscape with Cup', catalogue not traced.
London, A.I.A. Centre, Members' Exhibition Part 3, November 1947, no. 2, as 'Landscape and Cup', n.p.
London, Redfern Gallery, Summer Exhibition, July - September 1948, no. 88, as 'Landscape and Cup', n.p.
London, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Peter Lanyon, March 1991, no. 1, n.p., illustrated.
St Ives, Tate Gallery, Peter Lanyon: Generation, October 1994 - January 1995, no. 9, n.p.
St Ives, Tate, Peter Lanyon, October 2010 - January 2011, exhibition not numbered, as 'Landscape and Cup', p. 35, illustrated.
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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Alice Murray
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Lot Essay

Landscape and Cup (Annunciation) ... is related to the confirmation of Sheila Lanyon’s pregnancy and the theme of generation that preoccupied the artist after he returned from the war in March 1946’ (T. Treves, Peter Lanyon: Catalogue Raisonné of The Oil Paintings and Three-Dimensional Works, London, 2018, p. 171).

Landscape and Cup (Annunciation), 1946 is one of Lanyon’s finest early works. This extremely rare work marks a pivotal moment in Lanyon’s life, when he returned to St Ives in March 1946, after serving five years in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. During this period Lanyon worked on a series of narrative works, entitled the 'Generation' paintings, which celebrated his domestic bliss with his new wife Sheila St John Browne and the birth of his first child Andrew in 1947.

Landscape and Cup (Annunciation) displays a duality between the figurative and the abstract, with Lanyon drawing on religious symbolism to express the joy of his first child. Critics have dissected this multi-faceted work, suggesting the cup to the right of the composition that is inscribed with a cross, denotes a chalice, which is used in the sacrament of Communion, thereby relating the spiritual union with Christ to the sacrament of earthly marriage. Andrew Causey also finds the notion of marriage is evident in Lanyon’s placement of his buildings, with the small construction in the centre of the work signifying an embryonic form. While Chris Stephens notes that the blue of the circle in the centre refers to the Virgin Mary and the Annunciation.

This harmony of tone and the interplay of landscape and still-life references can also be seen to refer to Ben Nicholson’s work of the period, whom he met in 1939 before the war. Landscape and Cup (Annunciation) portrays Lanyon’s re-engagement with the landscape and his life back in England after the war. Steeped in memory and familiarity, the artist imbues a sense of the mystical in the present work, which speaks of the overlapping of time and place.The work has exceptionally strong provenance having been gifted to Jonathan Lanyon, the artist’s son and then later having been in the collection of the seminal American art collector Stanley J. Seeger.

We are very grateful to Toby Treves for his assistance in cataloguing this work.

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