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Lot 23: John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992)

20th Century British Art including Property from the Collection of the late Sir Colin and Lady Anderson

by Christie's

November 18, 2005

London, United Kingdom

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Description: Rycote Chapel
signed, inscribed and dated 'Rycote Chapel/Painting/John Piper 1945' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm.)
Sold with the original receipt from the Leicester Galleries

Notes: In 1936 Piper had undertaken a series of articles for the Architectural Review and this work attracted the attention of John Betjeman, another contributor, who was also the general editor of the Shell Country Guides, and commissioned Piper to undertake the Oxfordshire Volume. Anthony West comments, 'This development was of considerable importance to Piper in the short term and the long, as it stimulated the revival of his topographical interests and financed an exploration and penetration of the English scene of an intensity and range that few artists have been able to undertake... The sketchbooks, along with the impressive photographs that Piper was beginning to take at this time, show how he was revelling in this licensed resort to the sustenance that he had been deliberately denying himself in his abstract period, and make it clear that it was vital to him to be able to feed his imagination through his eye, and to incorporate his visual experience in his painting' (see John Piper, London, 1979, p. 93).
One of the photographs taken by Piper in 1937 (see A. West, op. cit, no. 47) depicts the interior of Rycote Chapel, Oxfordshire, which was built in the 15th Century by Richard Quatremayne, councillor in the service of Richard, Duke of York and later Edward IV.

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.

Provenance: Purchased by Sir Colin Anderson from the Leicester Galleries, London, in 1946.

Artist or Maker: John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992)

Exhibited: Cairo, British Council International Exhibition, 1946-47.
Australia, British Council, Contemporary British Art, 1948-49.
London, Arts Council, I.C.A. Ten Decades: a review of British taste, 1851-1951, 1951, no. 247.
London, Tate Gallery, Seventeen Collectors An exhibition of paintings and sculpture from the private collections of members of the Executive Committee of the Contemporary Art Society, March - April 1952, no. 195.
Aldeburgh Festival, 1952.
Bradford, Cartwright Memorial Hall, Golden Jubilee Exhibition: Fifty Years of British Art 1904 - 1954, March - June 1954, no. 520.
London, Marlborough Fine Art, John Piper Retrospective Exhibition, March 1964, no. 72 as 'Rycote 1946'.
Folkestone, Arts Centre, John Piper, 1970, no. 34.

Literature: S.J. Woods, John Piper: Paintings, Drawings and Theatre Designs, London, 1955, no. 181.
Exhibition catalogue, John Piper Retrospective Exhibition, London, Marlborough Fine Art, 1964, p. 28, illustrated.
A. West, John Piper, London, 1979, no. 123, illustrated.

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