George Clausen picture

A Wood Nymph by George Clausen, estimate £20,000-30,000 at Parker Fine Art Auctions.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

However, from around 1910-18, he did indeed produce a group of such paintings, partly inspired by the work of George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) as he departed from his more familiar rural realist subjects.

In Kenneth McConkey’s 2012 book George Clausen and the Picture of English Rural Life the art historian and expert on British Impressionism mentions some of the titles of Clausen’s series: Little Wild One (1912), Primavera (1914), Youth Mourning (1916) and The Sleeper (1918).

However, the earliest of the group was a painting titled A Wood Nymph which was exhibited by Clausen at the Royal Academy in 1910. The work was pictured in McConkey’s book but its whereabouts was listed as ‘unlocated’.

The fact that it has now been consigned to Farnham saleroom Parker Fine Art Auctions will therefore be of keen interest to Clausen followers. Having come via family descent from a private collection, the 20 x 17in (51 x 43cm) signed oil on canvas is described as in original condition with only some varnish having gone off in the top left.

It will be offered at the auction in Surrey on December 7 with the estimate set at £20,000-30,000.

Although Little Wild One – which appears to depict the same sitter as the A Wood Nymph – sold at Bonhams for £7500 in 2019, Primavera made £75,000 when it emerged at Christie’s in 2014. The latter nude depicts the young artist’s model Lilian Ryan undressed and tying her hair and was famously attacked with a meat cleaver by the suffragette Maude Kate Smith when first exhibited at the RA.