The Dorothy Scharf Collection included works by major English watercolour painters of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Dorothy Scharf was the granddaughter of a professional art dealer and assembled the collection over a period of some forty years with the help of family funds. Many of the works were bought from, or with the advice of, a small number of leading London dealers including Agnew’s, Leger and Spink.
The bequest, following Dorothy Scharf’s death, of fifty-one works from the Dorothy Scharf Collection was the most significant single addition to the Courtauld’s distinguished collection of works on paper in London for over twenty-five years. The Courtauld was set up to collect works from the Golden Age of British watercolour painting between 1750-1850.
The bequest included eight works by J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) including the typically atmospheric view Seelisberg by Moonlight and the vivid Margate Pier. The latter was owned by John Ruskin, the distinguished English nineteenth century art critic, and subsequently by president Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Also represented in the bequest were J. R. Cozens (1752-99), The Tomb of Cecilia Metella and the intensely romantic A Ruined Fort near Salerno, both of which were commissioned by William Beckford, Cozens’s most important patron. A fine topographical landscape Tivoli, dated 1777, was executed by Thomas Jones (1742-1803), one of a number of British artists to travel to Italy at this time. The bequest also includes works by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88), Francis Towne (1740-1816), Thomas Girtin (1775-1802), John Constable (1776-1837), Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-28) and Samuel Palmer (1805-81), among others
Further bequests were also made from the Dorothy Scharf Collection to the National Library of New South Wales and to a museum in Israel.
The collection now offered for sale includes not only examples of important artists from the 18th and 19th century such as, Thomas Rowlandson, Peter de Wint, Robert Adam, Samuel Palmer and Sir Edward Burne-Jones, but also works from the 20th Century by Picasso, Beckmann, Lieberman and Kokoshka.
The items in this sale are available for viewing in our New York Gallery. For information about this sale or to arrange viewings, please contact Abby at 212.289.5588 or email Office@iGavel.com.
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