Lot 2242

* JOHN BELLANY CBE RA HRSA (SCOTTISH 1942 - 2013), THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA watercolour on paper, signed (twice) 77cm x 56cm (30.25 x 22 inches) Mounted, framed and under glass. Provenance: Ex private collection of the late Cyril Gerber OBE. Note: In our opinion, one of the most important Bellany watercolours to be offered at auction. This is the watercolour which inspired one of Bellany's best known etchings and the portfolio of etchings and screenprints of the same title which was published by Paragon Press Ltd in 1988. Bellany had first read Ernest Hemmingway's The Old Man And The Sea when he was a student and he described it as having 'hit a nerve inside'. In 1986 Charles Booth-Clibborn invited Bellany to make a publication of his own choosing and this theme of a man being driven to the brink of death seemed apt as Bellany was seriously ill at the time through heavy drinking; he was eventually to have a life saving liver transplant in 1988. The final portfolio comprised 10 etchings and four screenprints printed at Peacock Printmakers in Aberdeen. Bellany later commented that the 'imagery itself just flowed like a tidal wave from start to finish; the passion in the work was magnified by the fact that I was struggling for my own life at the time.' The watercolour is undated and may be a much earlier work but certainly no later than 1986. As one would expect, It differs slightly from the etching, around the eyes, but it is unquestionably the seminal inspiration for the etching.


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Sold for £3,600
Estimated at £4,000 - £8,000

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