Published 4th April 2013
The Michael Snow Collection is a personal and intimate group of 20th Century British, St Ives and Newlyn paintings and sculpture that was assembled over 40 years while Snow had studios in St Ives.
Snow’s closest friends were the artists Ben Nicholson (FS18/317) and (FS18/318), Terry Frost (FS18/415), Dennis Mitchell (FS18/332) and the poet WS Graham, and it is from this close group and their extended friends, that the collection was assembled. Many of the paintings and sculptures were exchanges of work and mark the activity and influence among artists and Snow himself was particularly enamoured with the lyrical literacy of John Wells (FS18/320), Wilhelmina Barns Graham (FS18/321), Alex Mackenzie (FS18/325) (FS18/326) (FS18/327) (FS18/329) and Nicholson.
Ben Nicholson - Cion De Arquitectos Barcelona (FS18/318)
The provenance of one particular small painting encapsulates the group; in 1928 Ben Nicholson visited St Ives and there discovered an elderly Cornish mariner who was painting from memory his time at sea along the Cornish coast and in the local harbours. This chance meeting with Alfred Wallis (FS18/334) influenced the path of British Art in the 20th Century and propelled the retired fisherman, with a naive and direct approach to image making, into the circle of some of the most progressive artists working in Britain in the 1930s.
Alfred Wallis - The Mariners (FS18/334)
Nicholson then owned and later gave a painting by Alfred Wallis, lot 334, to Michael Snow as a personal gift. The collection will be sold in in our Fine Art Auction on 24 April 2013.