‘Hauling the boat ashore – coast of France‘, a stunning painting completed in 1871, is to be sold at auction by Atkins Auctions at Axminster, Devon, on Friday 5 August. It appears always to have been in private hands and to my knowledge, never exhibited. Showing a group of women believed to be in traditional Breton costume, pulling a wooden boat out of the water, it is one of a number of paintings by Eyre Crowe inspired by his regular trips to northern France.
Eyre Crowe’s 1880 genre work, Forfeits, is for sale at Christie’s in New York on 28 October 2019. The higher estimate, compared to other recent sales of Crowe’s work, probably reflects the charm, colour and quality of the scene. Ornate, wealthy interiors are rarely seen in Crowe’s paintings, although the arrangement of the figures in a line across the picture is a familiar technique.
I have been slow in updating this site recently, so here is an overview of what has been occurring in the world of Eyre Crowe’s artworks:
I was alerted to the publication in The Daily Graphic of a brief letter from Eyre Crowe and a sketch of steeplejacks repairing the steeple of Bromsgrove parish church. The item is listed under the title After The Great Gale: Repairing a Steeple (1891).
‘After the Great Gale: Repairing a Steeple’ by Eyre Crowe A.R.A. (1891)
‘The Meeting of Louis IX and Edward IV on the Bridge of Pecquigny’ by Eyre Crowe (1855)
Finally, three separate sets of sketches attributed to Eyre Crowe have come up for sale through various auction houses:
Three Figure Studies (19 April 1901 and n.d.). Medium: charcoal and pencil heightened with white. Size: largest 47 x 22 cm. Offered by Bellmans Auctioneers and Valuers, Billingshurst, West Sussex, 5 March 2018 (Lot 1071)
Eight sketches by Eyre Crowe, from the collection of Judith Adelman. Medium: pen and ink, pencil and wash. Size: various, largest 17 x 13 inches. Advertised in Weekly Internet Rare Books and Autographs Auctions #201537 by Heritage Auctions, 3-10 Sep 2015 (lot 92359)
Fifteen Figure Studies in Two Frames (various dates). Medium: pen, ink and washes. Size: smallest 10 x 3 cm, largest 17 x 27 cm. Attributed to Eyre Crowe and offered for sale by Cuttlestone’s auctioneers, Penkridge, Fine Art and Antiques Sale, 23-24 Nov 2017 (Lot 61). However, the style of the sketches is not exactly reminiscent of Eyre Crowe’s work, and none are signed by him (as was his usual practise), so I doubt the attribution.
Thank you to all the owners who have contacted me about Eyre Crowe pictures – it is always fascinating to hear about paintings and sketches in private hands.
The painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1896, and in the autumn of the same year was shown at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. It was presumably sold around the same time, and disappeared into private hands until the death of its owner in 2014. By autumn 2016 it was owned by art dealer Brian Saunders, of Saunders Fine Art, who displayed it at the LAPADA and Olympia art shows.
Eyre Crowe returned in old age to the kind of historical scenes that had made his name in the 1860s, and liked to feel that he had done his research and presented historically accurate details. He visited Celle in the late summer of 1895 and undoubtedly sketched some of the details of the room there.
The online sale catalogue for the painting includes some further images, including close-ups of Crowe’s signature and the information on the gilt frame.
Landscape with stream and figures – The Lovers (1880)
This oil painting on canvas has recently come to light after being in private ownership for at least 50 years. The previous owner was a world traveller and the estate contained many fine pieces – Meissen, Lalique, etc. along with other original art work.
It is a large picture – 38 x 48 inches, untitled, but signed and dated 1880. From its subject matter and size, is quite likely to be ‘Landscape with stream and figures – The Lovers’, which was sold at auction by Messrs Furber at 77 Chancery Lane, London, on 22 February 1911. This auction was a sale of Eyre Crowe’s remaining works after his death. Many of the pictures were sold for just a few shillings, indicating that most were sketches in pen or oil. However, ‘The Lovers’ sold for £1, indicating that the picture was relatively finished.
The canvas that Crowe used was bought in France – this fits with what is known of Crowe’s usual purchases of artist’s supplies.
The family of the owner are looking to sell this painting – please contact me if you are interested and I can pass your details on.
‘The New Recruit’ is an interesting narrative picture, apparently set in the present day of, presumably, the 1860s or 1870s. The background seems to show a grim industrial landscape, like that depicted in Crowe’s famous The Dinner Hour, Wigan (1874). Its small size (21.3 x 26.9 inches – 54 x 68.2 cm) suggests that it may have been destined for the Dudley Gallery’s annual exhibition of ‘cabinet’ paintings in oil. The auctioneer in 2015 described the picture as only ‘attributed’ to Eyre Crowe, but the style is very distinctly his. The frieze of different characters across the foreground of the picture is a device often used by Crowe.
One other picture also came up for sale in 2015: ‘Woman Knitting’ (sold as ‘Strickende Bauerin’), a pencil and watercolour sketch measuring 21.7 x 16.9 inches (55 x 43 cm). It has the date 1909 – the last known work by Eyre Crowe.
‘Thomas Cromwell looking at the Duke of Buccleuch’s miniatures of Cromwell’ (1895) by Eyre Crowe ARA
An auction house in Melbourne, Australia, is shortly to sell an original oil painting by Eyre Crowe. On 3 December, Leonard Joel Auctions will sell Thomas Carlyle Looking at the Duke of Buccleuch’s Miniatures of Cromwell, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1895. An original label attached to the back of the painting explains that Crowe produced the painting from a sketch made in 1879, when the miniatures were displayed at Burlington House (the home of the Royal Academy).
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Eyre Crowe (1824-1910)
Eyre Crowe was a Victorian painter of historical and genre works of art, who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1846 to 1908.
This site, which is a non-commercial appreciation of Crowe's life and work, contains biographical information, details of all his known paintings, auction records, images where available, details of exhibitions, contemporary reviews, and a full bibliography including links to other websites useful to those interested in 19th-century art.