Dinah Roe

'The Last Pre-Raphaelite' Exceeds Expectations at Christie's

While the Christie’s New York auction of Liz Taylor’s jewellery grabbed all of last week’s headlines, I was more interested in some of the Pre-Raphaelite gems on show at the Christie’s London auction of ‘Victorian and British Impressionist Art’. One artist who inspired some furious competition was Northamptonshire’s own Frank Cadogan Cowper. Estimated at £150,000 - £250,000, his Our Lady of the Fruits of the Earth (1917, above) went for £469,250, a record-breaking price for Cowper’s work. In a complex, efficient choreography, assistants ferried most of the paintings in and out for display. But throughout the auction, Cowper’s work remained on the wall above a phalanx of smartly attired men and women taking phone bids. The painting was beautifully lit, showing off its bright colours and ornate frame to full advantage. Perhaps it was to this work that Peter Brown (Director in Victorian Pictures) was referring when he breezily told me that some items had done ‘better than expected.’ British understatement at its finest, I suspect. Cowper is sometimes referred to as the 'Last Pre-Raphaelite'. The painter is clearly borrowing from a Pre-Raphaelite colour palette, but what other Pre-Raphaelite influences are detectable?

Read More

Pre-Raphaelites in the City

Subscribe to the blog

This blog explores the thriving Victorian cities which inspired the Pre-Raphaelites, and were shaped by them in turn. While the Pre-Raphaelites produced poetry and art praising the natural world, most were born and raised in urban environments, and their work retained a cosmopolitan sensibility. Although this blog will sometimes take excursions into the countryside, its focus will remain on city life. If you want more information on images or sources, please get in touch.

All Tags

aestheticism algernon charles swinburne alma-tadema america birmingham bonhams brompton cemetery chelsea fc christina rossetti christmas eve dante gabriel rossetti david bowie edgar allan poe raven edward burne-jones elizabeth siddal emily dickinson exhibitions florence and the machine ford madox brown frank cadogan cowper frederick leyland gabriel rossetti geffrye museum henry wadsworth longfellow holman hunt illustration in an artist's studio in the bleak midwinter in the news jane morris jk rowling john everett millais john gielgud john keats jophn everett millais leighton house lizzie siddal maria rossetti mary wollstonecraft music poems poetry poetry analysis poetry workshop pre-raphaelite pre-raphaelite brotherhood pre-raphaelite childhood pre-raphaelite conference pre-raphaelite design punch & judy queen victoria rip van winkle rossetti chair rossetti poems rossettis serena trowbridge spring quiet television tennyson the cuckoo's calling the germ thomas woolner valentine prinsep victorian obsession virginia woolf walter deverell william morris william rossetti william waterhouse winter: my secret winter my secret