Pictures in the Spotlight at Chorley’s in November

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Pictures will be in the spotlight at Chorley’s next sale on Thursday 15th November 2012. The sale includes a number of interesting Old Master paintings including Lot 526, an interior scene with a seated woman peeling turnips by the Dutch painter Quiringh Gerritsz van Brekelenkam (after 1622-1669 or later). This scene is typical of his style and while some of his paintings have fetched prices in excess of £100,000 this example is estimated at £4,000-6,000.

Lot 526
Quiringh Gerritsz van Brekelenkam
Woman peeling turnips
Oil on panel, 48.75 x 64.25 cm
Est £4,000-6,000

Lot 542 is a still life painted in the manner of Osias Beert and shows a tabletop laden with books, a candlestick and an hourglass lying on its side. The wick of the candle is glowing and issues a wisp of smoke as if it has just been blown out, which is reflected in the mirror to the side of the painting. This carries an estimate of £3,000-5,000.

A 19th century copy of Benjamin West’s masterpiece, The Death of General Wolfe, Lot 536 is of a very similar size to the original, being an impressive 160cm x 234cm (63″ x 92″).

Lot 536
After Benjamin West
The Death of General Wolfe
Oil on canvas, 160 x 234 cm
Est £15,000-20,000

The original painting was completed in 1770 and displayed at the Royal Academy in 1771; it is unusual and interesting for many reasons. At this time it was conventional for the figures in history paintings to be attired in Classical dress whereas West chose to depict the figures wearing contemporary dress. This controversial choice resulted in George III refusing to purchase the painting. The painting was so well received that it overcame the objections and paved the way for more accurately rendered historical paintings; even George III was swayed and commissioned a copy of the work for his own collection in 1771. Although this use of accurate dress may seem commendable, the painting is less accurate in many other ways. It depicts the stricken Wolfe attended by no fewer than 14 men while news of the victory arrives by runner to the left of the painting. Depicted as an almost Christ-like figure, this heroic image could not be further from the historical truth. Of the 14 figures around Wolfe, only four were at the battleground at all, and the inclusion of a tattooed American Indian shows West’s intention was less to depict the events of the day and more to provide a spectacular image that would appeal to British viewers. The truth of Wolfe’s death, that he died attended by two soldiers by a bush on the battlefield, might not have made such an evocative image. This 19th century copy is estimated at £15,000-20,000.

A late 19th Century seascape by the artist David James (1853-1904) has an interesting provenance. James specialised in seascapes and his most popular images tend to be those with no land visible and the focus on a large central wave.

Lot 544
David James
Oil on canvas, 65 x 126 cm
Est £4,000-6,000

This painting, Lot 544, shows no land, just the masts of a ship on the horizon and is estimated at £4,000-6,000. The back of the painting has a label ‘Property of Sir Oswald Mosley 5th Baronet’. This, of course, refers not to the notorious leader of the British Union of Fascists, but to his father.

Moving into the 20th Century, a striking portrait of a ballet dancer by Doris Clare Zinkeisen (1898-1991), Lot 541, uses techniques learnt from her time as a commercial artist and poster designer. In the foreground the curved necks of the band’s instruments are silhouetted in a manner reminiscent of the poster for Divan Japonais by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Estimate £4,000-6,000.

For further information please contact Catrin Hampton on 01452 344499, [email protected] or view the fully illustrated online catalogue at


Tuesday 13th November, 9am-7pm; Wednesday, 14th, 9am-5pm; Thursday, 15th , 8.30am-10.30am.

Source: IONA PR

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