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Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more THE PROPERTY OF THE LATE 7TH EARL OF HAREWOOD, K.B.E. SOLD BY ORDER OF THE EXECUTORS
Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949)

The Grey Shawl

Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949)
The Grey Shawl
oil on canvas laid on board
36 x 28 in. (91.5 x 71.1 cm.)
Painted in 1910.
J.B. Gold; Sotheby's, London, 17 March 1965, lot 13, where purchased by 7th Earl of Harewood.
Art News, 2 June 1910.
The World, 4 June 1910.
Bazaar, 10 June 1910.
Westminster Gazette, 20 June 1910.
L. Browse, William Nicholson, London, 1956, p. 129, no. 641.
P. Reed, William Nicholson Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, London, 2011, p. 177, no. 184, illustrated.
London, Grafton Galleries, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, 3rd Exhibition of Fair Women, May - July 1910, no. 16.
Bradford, City Art Gallery, 18th Spring Exhibition, March - May 1911, no. 44.
Toronto, Canadian National Exhibition, August - September 1913, no. 40.
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

Lot Essay

The model is wearing a fine grey woollen shawl, either knitted or crocheted but of such delicacy that it could probably be drawn through a wedding ring. Such shawls were made in Ireland and the northern isles of Scotland and were much sought after at this date (1910). With her dark hair hanging loose and her downcast eyes it would seem that this young girl must have a story to tell and the viewer looks for a narrative, seeking to find some clue in the landscape sketched out below. However for the artist the real interest lay in depicting the texture of the delicate shawl beneath which the girl's glossy dark hair and the material of her dress are partially visible. His palette is limited, with greys and blues predominating.

The Grey Shawl received considerable attention when it was first exhibited at the International Society Exhibition of Fair Women in May 1910, where it was shown together with The Blue Shawl (sold in these Rooms, 8 June 2001, lot 38). The latter depicts a young woman in profile, seen from the back, and wearing a rich blue woollen shawl partially draped over her bare shoulders. (It is not the same model but the works were hung in the same room and can be linked.) They were often discussed together, as in the Westminster Gazette (20 June 1910) where E.S. declared, '... each is a demonstration of a fine artistic personality, highly skilled, and absolutely unfettered by convention or alien influence.' The unidentified reviewer in The World (4 June 1910) wrote, 'Mr William Nicholson's two half-length's - 'The Grey Shawl' (16) and 'The Blue Shawl' (9) - are admirably placed on their canvas. In both we find the same intense interest in character which has marked Mr Nicholson's work from the beginning, that shrewd and humorous observation expressed in terms of deliberate weight and subtle harmony which makes Mr Nicholson's work not only delightful to the eye but fascinating to the intelligence.'


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