'The River' by Walter Sickert
‘The River’ by Walter Sickert (after Sir John Gilbert) – estimated at £6000-8000 at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

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After meeting the famously reclusive Victorian artist and illustrator Sir John Gilbert (1817-97), Walter Sickert (1860- 1942) embarked on a series of ‘Echo’ paintings which were based on Gilbert’s engravings for the London Journal.

These were later exhibited by Sickert at a London Group show in 1931 where this example shown above was titled The River. The 2ft 1in x 22½in (63 x 57cm) oil on canvas demonstrated how the artist adapted Gilbert’s approach with vibrant colours and a more modern, looser style. This picture appeared on the market twice in the 1960s: first at Sotheby’s in 1961 where the title was given as The Paddle Steamer and again at Christie’s in 1963 where it was sold as The River Boat.

In around 1969 it was acquired by the film producer and director Sidney Gilliat and has now come to auction via family descent.

It will be offered at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s picture sale in Exeter on July 14, estimated at £6000-8000.

Nicholson seascape

Winifred Nicholson's Sea Break

'Sea Break' by Winifred Nicholson – estimated at £15,000-20,000 at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

Also at the sale is a vivid seascape by Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981). The 23in (58cm) square oil on board dates from 1970 and was one of a series of pictures recording the changing coastal weather conditions.

The presence of jetty to the foreground however made it slightly different in terms of composition and the flying seagulls were also an unusual feature.

With provenance to the Crane Kalman Gallery, the London dealer who staged a number of exhibitions of her work believing her to be underrated by critics, it will be estimated at £15,000-20,000 at BHL.

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