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WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A. (1913-1989)
WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A. (1913-1989)
WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A. (1913-1989)
WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A. (1913-1989)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A. (1913-1989)

Six Pears and Grapes

WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A. (1913-1989)
Six Pears and Grapes
oil on canvas
25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted in 1974.
Mary Scott.
with Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, 1988.
Private collection, Switzerland, by 1991, from whom purchased by the present owner.
N. Lynton (intro.), exhibition catalogue, William Scott: Modern British Masters, London, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, 1990, n.p., no. 22, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, The British Imagination: Twentieth Century Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, New York, Hirschl & Adler, 1990, n.p., no. 45, illustrated.
S. Whitfield (ed.), William Scott: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, Vol. 4, London, 2013, p. 173, no. 785, illustrated.
London, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, William Scott: Modern British Masters, September - October 1990, no. 22.
New York, Hirschl & Adler, The British Imagination: Twentieth Century Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, November 1990 - January 1991, no. 45.
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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Lot Essay

Six Pears and Grapes took its inspiration from the pear tree growing outside the studio wall of Scott's farmhouse at Coleford in Somerset, a photograph of which shows Scott standing beside the beautifully espaliered tree. In a letter to Walter Moos dated 5 January 1978, Scott recalled ‘I became a little obsessed with the tree on my studio wall last summer' (William Scott quoted in S. Whitfield, op. cit., p. 196). His obsession culminated in the 1976 series of paintings An Orchard of Pears, but signs had begun appearing in his work a few years earlier, as demonstrated in the present work of 1974 and in Pears and Knife II, 1973.

The painter T.P. Flanagan wrote of Scott's pear paintings, 'As with everything he drew, when Scott concentrated his attention upon them, the pears became endowed with several layers of meaning. He perceived them not only as fruit but as symbols of fruitfulness. He managed to establish a correspondence between a couple of pears on a plate as highly charged with erotic innuendo as any Baroque figurative allegory ('William Scott', Independent, 24 January 1990).

In 1977 Edward Lucie-Smith organised an exhibition, Real Life, at the Walker Art Gallery, in which featured 17 of Scott's small paintings titled An Orchard of Pears. In the catalogue Lucie-Smith described Scott's pears as 'hieroglyphs rather than representations' (see S. Whitfield (ed.), op. cit., p. 196), and published a poem alongside the list of Scott's pictures. Titled Five Morsels in the Form of Pears, the poem was dedicated to Scott and composer Erik Satie:

'In another part of the
orchard, and hanging from a
different tree; or perhaps
on a plate on a table,
squatting there half-titled and
content to wait. It arrives,
the moment of decision.
They know they are fortunate
to be thus summoned, looked at,
picked for the preservative
violations of art.'

(an extract from E. Lucie-Smith, Five Morsels in the Form of Pears, published in exhibition catalogue, Real Life, Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, 1977).

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