Wednesday, December 17, 2008


One would think that nobody is ready to go well beyond the estimate and the reserve price for a gloomy dim foggy view of Lancashire by English painter Theodore Major (1908-1999) titled Lancashire Scene.

Well just change your mind because this oil on canvas measuring 22 x 26 in. (55.9 x 66 cm.) and painted in the late 1940s fetched this week at Christie's London more than twice its lower estimate at
£20,000 ($30,540). Major was famous for his depiction of industrial scenes of the first half of the XXth century in all their gloomness and dreary perspective of dejected workers against a background of smoking chimneys, sinister industrial plants and dark smoggy skies.

Major had this year some help from his supporters : 2008 marks the centenary of his birth and has been celebrated with a large exhibition at Gallery Oldham and the launch of a fully illustrated biography of the artist. The present work was painted in the late 1940s when the family lived in Wigan (Lancashire). After moving to Appley Bridge in 1950, Major painted on board rather than canvas and relatively few works remain from the earlier period.

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