September 23, 2020

Noël Coward’s art collection and own Caribbean paintings to be sold by Christie’s

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sir_noel_coward_on_the_beach_jamaica_d5657919hFrom Repeating Islands

As Mark Brown (The Guardian) writes, Noël Coward is well known for his plays, music, acting and cabaret, but far less well known for his art or collecting. The playwright/composer/actor (and so much more), who died in Port Maria, Jamaica in 1973 had acquired an extensive art collection and was himself an accomplished painter. Christie’s will sell 19 of his works as well as paintings he collected—including some by 20th-century British artists such as Christopher Wood, John Nash, Edward Seago, and Derek Hill—on March 19, 2015. Here are excerpts from Brown’s piece; see full article in the link below:

As you might expect, his unseen art is far from boring, featuring bold and vibrant colours, gorgeous blue skies – and a smattering of nudity and nuns.

The picture of a naked man sunning himself on a bench next to two smiling nuns – entitled What is She Telling Her Beads? – was painted by Coward in Jamaica, his Caribbean home, and is one of 19 of his works that will be sold by Christie’s in March.

“It is risqué in a very English, 1930s way,” said Will Porter, senior director of modern British art at the auction house. “His paintings are great fun … they reflect his sense of humour. There are some very witty works and some slightly risqué pieces.”

Porter said Coward’s own painting was very much a relaxing pastime and he would often give away the finished works as gifts for birthdays and first nights.

He was also a man who knew what he liked in terms of what he hung on his walls. “Generally the theme running through them is one of naivety or a certain primitivism and simplicity.”

The collection includes paintings he acquired as presents from friends including Elizabeth Taylor, David Niven and Ivor Novello. [. . .] Estimates for the artworks in the sale range from £300 to £100,000 and come from a collection inherited after Coward’s death in 1973 and passed down through his extended family. [. . .]

For full article, see http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/feb/02/noel-coward-art-collection-own-paintings-auction-christies

For more on this story go to: http://repeatingislands.com/2015/02/03/noel-cowards-art-collection-and-own-caribbean-paintings-to-be-sold-by-christies/

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