Chalk studies for lost paintings by Benjamin West sell for £138,880 at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctio In the wake of Old Masters Week, two original chalk studies for lost paintings by Benjamin West found impressive price tags at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctionsí sale of Watercolours, Drawings & Prints.
News-Antique.com - Jul 25,2014 - In the wake of Old Masters Week, two original chalk studies for lost paintings by Benjamin West found impressive price tags at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctionsí sale of Watercolours, Drawings & Prints, selling for a combined total of £138,880.
Richard Carroll, Pictures Department at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions said: "When the West drawings arrived at Bloomsbury House we anticipated a considerable amount of pre-sale interest and it was with great pleasure that we watched six telephone bidders and a collector in the room battle for these exceptional works. The final selling prices not only reflect the exceptional scale and quality of the two drawings, but also their importance in expanding our understanding of the artistic output of Benjamin West.Ē
American born Benjamin West was a pioneer of historical painting, an Old Master who produced work for Nobility and Royalty, acting as residence Historical Painter for the court of King George III.
These works date from a period when West explored religious themes and appeared to be preparatory studies of larger scale works which are now lost. The lost works later served as the basis for the engraved illustration in Thomas Macklinís Bible, published circa 1793, but it is these chalk drawings that provide the first real insight into how Westís lost paintings may have originally appeared.
In The Paintings of Benjamin West, Von Erffa and Stanley suggest that the two lost paintings may have formed the outer wings of a triptych centred around Westís The Resurrection, now held in St Georgeís Parish Church, Barbados.
The sale was held on Thursday 24th July at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctionsí saleroom in Londonís Mayfair. The illustrated catalogue is available online at www.bloomsburyauctions.com