Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Archibald Thorburn - Woodcock sheltering in the sand dunes

Price Realized £21,850

signed and dated 'A. Thorburn/1928' (lower right)
pencil and watercolour, heightened with bodycolour and gum arabic, and with scratching out
15 x 22 in. (38.1 x 56.5 cm.)

'With ruffling feathers, two tired woodcock hug the ground, facing into the storm as the north wind lashes in from the sea, scattering the breakers and sand and bowing the bents before it. They rest, wearily, amid the meagre shelter of the dunes close to a withering thistle that has temporarily surrendered to the seaonal adversity of such a place. Once rested and when the storm has abated, they will move quickly further on land to more charitable solitudes in which to spend the winter.' (J. Southern, Thorburn's Landscape: The Major Natural History Paintings, London, 1981, pl. LII, opp. p. 110, illustrated in colour).

The above piece refers to a watercolour of the same size and dated 1931, that sold at Christie's London, 30 September 1997, lot 66 (37,800).

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