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The variety of these drawings by Robert Bevan (1865-1925) illustrates the way in which his 'oeuvre' falls into distinct periods, each strongly associated with a specific geographical location. From his 1890-4 sojourns at Pont-Aven, in the company of fellow artists Eric Forbes-Robertson and the Scottish artist James Henry Donaldson, come the landscape drawings so much in the style of other members of the Gauguin circle, in particular the Irish artist Roderic O'Conor and the Breton artist Maxime Maufra, as well as his own very individual treatment of agricultural labour.
A constant interest was the work done by horses, and back in this country, during the mid-1890s on Exmoor, his subject became exclusively hunting, a sport he had greatly enjoyed during his 1892 'year out' in Tangier with Joseph Crawhall and G D Armour. As in Brittany, the finished products of preparatory drawings are lithographic prints rather than paintings.
From the time of his marriage to art student Stanislawa de Karlowska at the end of 1897, Bevan regularly spent summers with members of her family in Poland, where peasant life, dwellings and costume provided his subjects. The continued attraction of horses is demonstrated by his repeated depiction of horses watering, and of carriages being driven along country lanes.
For the summers of 1905 and 1906, Bevan chose to work at Kingston, near Lewes, observing farming on the Sussex Downs. His studies of ploughmen and their horses resulted in Aberdeen Art Gallery's painting, 'Ploughing on the Downs', and in 'The Turn-Rice Plough' in the Paul Mellon Collection.
The last time Bevan stayed at Horsgate, the family home at Cuckfield, West Sussex, was in 1914, when he drew and painted the fields of his father's estate. From 1912 he took to spending summers in the Blackdown Hills, close to the Devon/Somerset border, first staying with other members of the Camden Town Group at Applehayes, near Clayhidon, then renting a farmworker's house on Bolham Water , and finally purchasing a cottage at nearby Luppitt. His subjects were the local farms, all within walking distance of where he was staying.
In London also, Bevan's favourite subjects were precisely located: the cabyards close to his home and horse sale venues such as the Barbican - wherever he could look at horses. From soon after his marriage until his death, his base was in Hampstead's Adamson Road, but summer work continued to require a rural setting and his major interests remained very much those of a countryman.
The monogram stamp, that all the all the Bevan lots in this sale bear, was designed by the artist circa 1920 for use with his lithographs. It has also been extensively, but not consistently, used to authenticate drawings and watercolours.
The prints have been catalogued with reference to the Catalogue Raizonné of the Lithographs and other Prints by Robert Bevan, Graham Dry, London, 1968.