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Auktion: Auction 04.11.1994
wurde versteigert am: 4. November 1994
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HENRY JOHN STOCK (1853-1930)

Schätzpreis: 1.500 £ - 2.000 £
ca. 2.384 $ - 3.178 $
Zuschlagspreis:  3.680 £
ca. 5.849 $
Los-Nr. 56, Aufrufe: 44

HENRY JOHN STOCK (1853-1930) Stock is one of those minor but highly individual artists who are among the glories of the English Romantic tradition. Born in Greek Street, Soho, in 1853, he went blind in childhood but recovered his sight on being sent to live at Beaulieu in the New Forest. He studied at the St. Martin's School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools, and is said to have been encouraged by the engraver W.J. Linton, who took him to Italy. (It seems unlikely that this was before 1866, when Linton settled in America, since Stock would only have been thirteen at the time. Perhaps the trip took place during one of Linton's subsequent visits to England). In 1874, the year he began to exhibit at the Royal Academy, he became a figure-draughtsman in a firm of stained-glass artists; which one is not recorded. He exhibited at the RA until 1910, but also supported the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (member 1880) and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (member 1881), as well as showing occasionally in the provinces and at venues such as the Dowdeswell Galleries and the Fine Art Society in London. During his early career Stock supported himself by painting portraits, building up quite an impressive clientele among the aristocracy. His sitters included the sculptor Lord Ronald Gower, the younger son of the Duke of Sutherland, and other members of his family; the daughters of Viscount Harcourt (he had a notable line in 'daughters'); and a series of grandees in the costumes they had worn at the Devonshire House fancy dress ball of 1897 - Lady de Trafford, the Earl of Crewe, and Mrs Bischoffsheim, the subject of Millais' famous portrait of 1873 (Tate Gallery). But Stock's main interest was always imaginative subjects. These covered a wide field. If many were inspired by the Bible or literature (works based on Dante, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Goethe, Browning, William Morris and Whitman are recorded), others were symbolist themes typical of the period. Death-of-Love Plant , exhibited at the RI in 1896, might have come from the brain of Redon, and a group of works with musical themes - A Musician's Reverie (1888; Harrow School), Listening to Brahms (RA 1901) and 'In the Night' - Schumann (three versions exhibited 1908-27) - recall well-known paintings of the early 1880s by Ensor and Fernand Khnopff. Stock's visual sources were equally diverse. There are passages in his work which suggest that he looked at the Pre-Raphaelites and C.H. Shannon. At least an interest in Rembrandt is betrayed by an uncharacteristic subject, Rembrandt painting Saskia , which he showed at the RI in 1919. But the great influences on him were Blake and G.F. Watts. With Blake he may have felt some sense of personal identity, perhaps related to the fact that, like the great visionary, he was born in Soho. In 1909 he was to leave London and settle at Felpham, near Bognor, on the Sussex coast; and while a move to the country may have been dictated by the need to live more cheaply to enable him to concentrate on subject pictures (portraits almost disappear from his exhibited works about this time), his choice of Felpham was surely inspired by the knowledge that Blake had lived there under the patronage of William Hayley during the years 1800-1803. Certainly the impact of Blake on his work is marked, not so much in terms of style as in his choice of subjects. Notable examples are two paintings of Good and Evil Spirits fighting for Man's Soul (RA 1879 and 1882), Elohim (private collection), a watercolour of 1904 which was included in the Last Romantics exhibition at the Barbican in 1989 (no.120; repr. in cat.), Job's Vision (RI 1909), and the series of illustrations to the Book of Revelation and Dante's Inferno offered for sale here (lots 57-65). The influence of Watts may also have had some personal basis. There is no known evidence that they met, but it is quite possible that Stock encountered the older artist as a teacher in the Royal Acade

Informationen zur Auktion
Auktionshaus: Christie's
Titel: Auction 04.11.1994
Auktionsdatum: 04.11.1994
Adresse: Christie's
London, King Street