A very rare print by the acclaimed First World War artist Christopher Nevinson, which had never been seen at auction before, made over £50,000 at Bonhams
Prints auction in London last week.
The work, The Doctor (The Out-patient), dates from 1916, when Nevinson was at the height of his career and had turned to printmaking for the first time. It shows a soldier being treated for head injuries at a field hospital while bandaged comrades stumble past in the background. Etchings of this early war period have become the most sought after and rarest of all Nevisons graphic work and there was fierce bidding for this print. It was eventually sold for £50,140.
There is a copy of this work in the British Museum and an oil painting from the same year depicting the same scene is in the Imperial War Museum.
Bonhams Print specialist, Tanya Grigoroglou, said, This is a very powerful image that captures the energy and crudity of war. The realities of the conflict are depicted with a harsh and rugged power, stripped of any sentimental illusions about wars glory. Nevinson prints can be compared in their impact to the work of First World War poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon who were expressing similar emotions in verse.
Bonhams next print sale on 17 April features more important etchings by Nevinson - Chelsea Reach Power Station (£4,000-6,000) and Road to Arras from Bapaume, (£5,000-7,000). The sale will also offer master prints from one of Britains greatest print movements, the Grosvenor School, including Speedway by Sybil Andrews (£50,000- 70,000) and Skaters by Cyril Power (£10,000-15,000).