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This artwork, Sunflowers by William Nicholson, is currently for sale at Richard Green.
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William Nicholson, Sunflowers
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TITLE:  Sunflowers
ARTIST:  William Nicholson (British, 1872–1949)
WORK DATE:  circa 1933
CATEGORY:  Paintings
MATERIALS:  Oil on panel
MARKINGS:  Signed lower right Nicholson; signed with initials and inscribed with the title on the reverse
SIZE:  h: 41.3 x w: 33 cm / h: 16.3 x w: 13 in
SIZE:  Framed size: 24 x 21 in / 61 x 53.3 cm
STYLE:  Modern
PRICE*:  Contact Gallery for Price
GALLERY:  Richard Green  +44 (0) 207 493 3939  

This is Nicholson's only recorded painting of sunflowers. Executed in lively impasto and dry, opaque colour over a white ground, the flowers and leaves are modelled with relish and the paint has been generously applied. Nicholson's palette, which includes a dusty rose pink recalling Fruit and vegetable still life, 1933, (National Gallery of Canada) and Lady Spencer's portrait, 1933, (Althorp Collection), suggests the influence of his first visit to Spain earlier that year. The jug appears to be of Spanish pottery, and may have been purchased during his holiday in Seville as a present for his daughter Nancy. It is either the same, or very similar to one owned by Nancy Nicholson, and the circle motif appears in her fabric entitled Jug c. 1948 (illustrated in Sophie Bowness and Timothy Nicholson 'The Textile Designs of Nancy Nicholson', Apollo, October 2001, fig. 27, p. 23).

The artist was staying with Nancy at her home, Poulk, Sutton Veny, in Wiltshire in the autumn of 1933 when he wrote to his friend and former student Diana Low that he was painting Sunflowers (16th October 1933, private collection). This would seem to suggest a date of 1933 for the work, rather than the late 1920s, as suggested by Lillian Browse in her 1956 catalogue raisonné.

PROVENANCE:  Barbizon House, London, UK
William Witherle Lawrence, 1948
Sale, Christie's, London, 13th July 1964, lot 372 (as Yellow Sunflowers)
Roland, Browse & Delbanco, London, November 1965
Martin Halperin, London, acquired from the above, then by descent
ONLINE CATALOGUE(S):  Richard Green Inventory Catalogue
LITERATURE:  Robert Nichols, William Nicholson, Penguin Modern Painters series, Harmondsworth, 1948, pl. 23
Lillian Browse, William Nicholson, Rupert Hart-Davis, London, 1956, p. 95, no. 389, (dated c. 1928, as oil on canvas)
Patricia Reed, William Nicholson Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, Modern Art Press, Yale University Press, London and New Haven, 2011, p. 538, no. 700, illustrated
EXHIBITION HISTORY:  London, C E M A Exhibition, Pall Mall and Scottish Investment Co. Ltd., Flower Paintings, early 1940s, no. 15
London, Roland, Browse & Delbanco, William Nicholson 1872-1949: Centenary Exhibition, April - May 1972, no. 18
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