A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Wednesday, 10 October 2018
In around 1965 or 66, I was managing a small West End gallery called The Fine Art Gallery in Devonshire Street W1.
One afternoon a man arrived with a large roll of paper. He explained that it was one of six large drawings that he wished to sell, and that they were by Mark Gertler.
He unravelled the drawing (it was about 4 by 6 ft). It was of a naked man, in the 'Vorticism' style, and was drawn in terracotta pastel.
At once I could see that his attribution to Gertler was incorrect, but asked him how much he wanted for them. I think he was asking £50 for the six, and I said I'd buy them. He promised to return with all six drawings within a few days.
On the day he arrived with the drawings I was out, and my boss Miklos Vilag bought them in my stead. When I returned I saw them in the front room of the gallery, and went to give Miklos the £50; he declined my money and said that he'd bought them for himself. As you might imagine, I wasn't happy, and we had quite a heated argument.
I grabbed my things, and instantly resigned.
I had recently attended a William Roberts exhibition at The Tate, and had recognised the drawing I'd seen as being a sketch for one of his larger paintings. These were valuable drawings, and I'd been deprived of their ownership. I suppose as the Gallery owner Miklos had a right to buy them, but I was understandably bloody angry. In fact; I still am.
I have just seen that a Roberts painting was recently sold at Sotheby's for over £1 Million. I wonder what the drawings are now worth?
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!