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Loudon Sainthill

Hecate, 1948
Loudon Sainthill
Gouache and mixed media on card
Inscribed 'Hecate', signed, dated 1948 lower right
56.5 x 45.8 cm



Francis John Bagott Watson (Art historian with roles at the Courtauld, the Wallace Collection, the Royal Collection, the Slade, 1934 – 1992), thence by descent; Christies, London, 20 May, 2014, lot 187 (incorrectly dated as 1940). [Sir Francis Watson and his wife Jane lived in the house in London behind that of Sainthill and his partner Henry Tatlock Miller. See notes below].


Similar Work: A watercolour Sore but Satisfied from the 1940s is illustrated at p155 of Fantasy Modern, Loudon Sainthill’s Theatre of Art and Life, Andrew Montana, University of New South Wales Press, 2014. This work 'theatricalises the dismembered mannequin form, popular with international Surrealists during the middle decades of the 20th century.'; Sore but Satisfied exhibited 'Merioola and After', S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 12 July - 17 August 1986, cat. 100, illus. p. 15; Loudon Sainthill Retrospective, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, 12 September - 6 October 1991, cat. 40; Sore but Satisfied was offered at Sotheby's, Fine Australian Paintings, Melbourne, 27/11/1995, Lot No. 67.


The standard texts on Sainthill are: Loudon Sainthill, edited by Henry Tatlock Miller, Hutchinson, 1973; Fantasy Modern: Loudon Sainthill's Theatre of Art and Life by Andrew Montana, UNSW Press, Australia, 2013. Sainthill collaborated with his partner Henry Tatlock Miller in producing three books: Royal Album (1951), Undoubted Queen (1958) and Churchill (1959).

Australian artist Loudon Sainthill achieved fame as a stage designer in London from the 1940s to the 1960s. He had previously lived at the house ‘Merioola’ in Edgecliff, Sydney, with a group of artists now known as ’the Merioola Group’. During the three Australian tours of Colonel W. de Basil's Original Ballet Russe, Sainthill had mingled with Russian dancers, painted their portraits and designed some sets for the ballets. He was approached to design Serge Lifar's Icare but Sidney Nolan was given the commission instead. As a ‘consolation prize’ Sainthill was invited to London with the Ballet Russe company.

Among Sainthill’s most renowned works were the sets and costumes he designed for Robert Helpmann's production of Rims ... Read More »

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