Published 23rd March 2013
The last few days of accepting entries and cataloguing for our next major picture sale have been busy as is often the case as the deadline looms. The sale on 24th April 2013 has a strong 20th Century British Paintings and an equally strong section of Newlyn and St Ives School pictures and sculpture.
In 2011, we sold a small collection of pictures for Michael Seward Snow who was a great friend and contemporary of many of the leading St Ives artists. After seeing an exhibition of St Ives paintings while in Liverpool, Snow moved to the Cornish seaside town in 1951.
Two years later, he was elected a member of the newly formed Penwith Society along with Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson and over the next forty or so years his closest friends were among the colony of artists including Nicholson, Terry Frost, Dennis Mitchell and the poet WS Graham.
Michael Snow died in Devon in July 2012 and the collection offered in our sale in April 2013 is consigned by his son. The group includes work by Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson, Dennis Mitchell, Alexander Mackenzie, Roger Hilton, Patrick Heron, Wilhelmina Barns Graham, Robert Adam, John Wells and Alixe Shearer Armstrong, many of the works being personal gifts from the artists.
The sale also includes paintings by Michael Seward Snow himself. Snow was particularly enamoured with the lyrical literacy of John Wells, W Barns Graham, Alex Mackenzie, George Dannatt and Ben Nicholson and his 1960s work bears resemblance to the painterly expressionism of Bryan Winter, Terry Frost and Roger Hilton.
By the 1970s, Snow's interest in science, ranging from mineralogy to cosmology, resulted in works such as Sun & Moon and Blue Planet. Snow's succinct catalogue statement for his 24 work show at London's Rowan Gallery in 1964 explained his pictures as 'additions to nature, not imitations of it. I may receive a stimulus to start work from a new landscape but my real problem is the solution on the canvas - painting matters if it is honest...because it is not only a visual addition to our environment… it is the only way to learn to see'.
From different collections, there are two paintings by Donald McIntyre (1923-2009), who was born in Leeds and spent his early childhood in north west Scotland where as a youth he developed a style in the Scottish Colourist tradition. He trained as a dentist, though whilst studying at Glasgow Dental Hospital, he attended evening classes at the nearby Glasgow School of Art.
At the age of 40, McIntyre decided to pursue a full time career as an artist regularly returning to the coastal landscapes of Scotland and North Wales and also the Isle of Iona. He pained most of his sketches en plein air, finishing larger works in his studio. McIntyre was a member of The Royal Cambrian Academy and exhibited regularly with the Thackerary Gallery, the Howard Roberts Gallery and the Albany Gallery.