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Fine Art Sale Lot 530


‡†GRAHAM SUTHERLAND, OM (1903-1980) OAST HOUSES pen, ink, grey wash and white with pencil inscription in an early owner's hand on mount "Hop Fields" by Graham Sutherland (c1925) To Roger & Annette from John, Spring 1948 and further inscribed in the same hand on the backboard "Oast Houses" by Graham Sutherland Roger and Annette from John April MCMXLVIII530At first sight one could be forgiven for mistaking this masterly drawing by Graham Sutherland for his etching The Village of 1925. With its much tighter composition and dramatic chiaroscuro the drawing just predates the etching. In the latter, a girl sits beside a farmer's harrow in the foreground. Although the top of the girl's head is just visible in the drawing, the foreshortening dramatically alters the composition, whilst other details, such as the heavier ink lines of the two bare trees and luminous to opaque white evoke the tonality of a Shoreham Period Palmer.Sutherland's first one man show of etchings and drawings at the Twenty One Gallery in 1924 saw him acclaimed as a virtuoso etcher. Evoking the visionary intensity of Palmer and The Ancients of a hundred years before, no scrap of the plate was left unworked creating a few intense, rhythmic prints such as Lammas (1926), Cray Fields (1925) and Pastoral (1930). Such prints were a radical departure from, for example, the works of Seymour Haden and other pioneers of the revival of original print making in England.According to the critic Herbert Furst, who reviewed the September 1928 Sutherland Exhibition at the Twenty One Gallery, the drawings and gouaches that were shown alongside the prints had "a kind of Palmeresque charm, but they mostly suggest preparations for etchings….in the Palmer technique". That such drawings by Sutherland are also exceedingly rare is evident, leading John Hayes to observe "there is apparently record of no more than one of these works: a gouache of deserted and overgrown trees (Graham Sutherland 1980, p12 and plt 5). From about 1929 Sutherland developed the highly personal style which can be seen to have originated with Samuel Palmer, in works of increasing exaggeration and potency, at the same time choosing to destroy his earlier drawings, such as this.

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