Description: Sir Frank Dicksee, P.R.A. (1853-1928) The Sensitive Plant signed with initials 'F.D.' (lower right) pencil and watercolour heightened with bodycolour and with scratching out on paper 7½ x 4 7/8 in. (19 x 12.4 cm.)
Exhibited: Springfield, 1988, no. 11.
Provenance: The Property of H.R.H. The Princess Royal (+); Christie's, London, 5 July 1966, lot 56.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 5 June 1984, lot 179.
Notes: VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.
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The present watercolour depicts Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem of 1820.
A Sensitive Plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light.
And closed them beneath the kisses of Night.
The dramatic yet subtle lighting are typical of Dicksee's style. The warm glow of light in the present watercolour is particularly characteristic. This awareness of the possibilities of light may well have been encouraged by Dicksee's early experience of working in stained glass with Henry Holiday.
For a Study for La Belle Dame sans Merci by Dicksee see lot 38.