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Pictures, Furniture, Clocks & Rugs

18th January 2019 | 10:00AM | Crewkerne Salerooms

Lot 1900

DORA CARRINGTON (1893-1932) CIRCUS PERFORMERS Oil, ink and silver foil on glass, within a plain maple-veneered frame 38 x 29cm. Provenance. By descent from Lettice Kirkpatrick, to whom the picture was given as a wedding present in 1927 by Gerald Brenan, author and friend of the artist. Gerald Brenan (1894-1987), writer and Hispanist, is chiefly known for The Spanish Labyrinth, a historical work on the background to the Spanish Civil War and for South From Granada:Seven Years In An Andalusian Village. In 1919 he was introduced to members of the Bloomsbury Group and, despite moving to Spain, his contacts with the group continued, partly owing to his particular friendship with Ralph Partridge and Partridge's first wife, Dora Carrington, with whom Brenan had an affair. After working on a Spanish landscape, Dora wrote to Brenan: " I feel my picture is going to be one of the most beautiful in the world - is it partly because you blessed it with that magic one night?". The menage between Carrington, Partridge and Lytton Strachey is well documented. Carrington's "tinseled pictures" were often presented as gifts to friends. These designs were created by creating an outline in dark inks on the back of the glass pane, filling in the outline with textured foil paper and then covering the image with a blend of opaque and transparent paints. This fine balance of art and craft was much admired by art historian Jane Hill who noted Carrington's instinctive feel for "how much glass to leave uncovered and how much work the silver will do." Traditional `tinsel prints` were originally 15th-Century woodcuts decorated with tiny metal or quartz fragments after being hand-coloured. The popularity was revived with a similarly sparkling decoration applied to mainly theatrical subjects in the Regency era. In Carrington's works, there is an intentional and rather quaintly Victorian association with 19th-Century greeting cards. The unusual semi-mosaic quality shows an embrace of techniques that are at once modern and nostalgic.
£5000 - £7000
5 stars

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