Joseph Severn's paintings

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Re: Joseph Severn's paintings

Postby Cathat906 » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:09 pm

I have finally got around to sending this email so will let you know if anything emerges as a result.
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Re: Joseph Severn's paintings

Postby Cathat906 » Mon Dec 07, 2020 1:12 pm

It's been three weeks now the email hasn't bounced back but I haven't had a reply, so I can only assume no answer from Keats House will be forthcoming.
Thank you all for your various suggestions.
The whereabouts of this historically pivotal and pre-eminent painting by Joseph Severn, for the time being, must remain a mystery.
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Re: Joseph Severn's paintings

Postby CasaMagni » Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:13 pm

Thanks for your efforts. The answer must be out there somewhere.
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Re: Joseph Severn's paintings

Postby Cathat906 » Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:06 am

I have entered the arcane world of Wiki editing (assisted by my son) and added the issue to the relevant section of Joseph Severn's Wikipedia page.
Who knows but it might help.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Severn
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Re: Joseph Severn's paintings

Postby Cathat906 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:45 pm

Have had a response from Ken.
Looks like it was sold at Christie's in 1963 but he doesn't know any more.

Thanks for contacting me, but I’m afraid I don’t have any further information about the painting than I’ve seen in published texts. I hadn’t read that Milnes had it, so that’s interesting and worth pursuing. Keats House has a number of Severn’s paintings, which can be seen on the Art UK site (although they are marked as Guildhall Art Gallery). There’s no catalogue of Severn’s work, as far as I know. Sue Brown and Grant F. Scott are the two Severn experts. Scott says in his book Joseph Severn. Letters and Memoirs, p.63-4 (Chronology): 1819 10 Dec. Wins the first gold medal the RA has awarded in twelve years for his oil painting, “Una Seizing the Dagger from the Despairing Red Cross Knight,” or “The Cave of Despair” (sold, 28 June 1963, Christie’s London).

So you might find it listed and illustrated there. I’d be interested to know.

Regards,
Ken
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Re: Joseph Severn's paintings

Postby CasaMagni » Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:50 pm

Excellent, and now we see that this information was available online -

https://books.google.ie/books?id=x_NADg ... EHoECDkQAg

I'm sure that result did not show up when I searched under the painting title. So the paper trail moves 100 years forward; under the 1822 entries Scott says that the painting 'Trelawny' is in private hands but he gives no such elaboration on the fate of 'Cave of Despair'. If it had been bought by a public institution then this information would probably be readily available, so I'd guess that it likely also ended up in private hands. I see Christie's have an email facility for general enquiries; whether this would enable archive queries back to 1963 is the next question...
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Re: Joseph Severn's paintings

Postby Cathat906 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:32 pm

I did a search on the Christie's website, no record for the painting came up, although a fair number for paintings of the river Severn and works by his son Joseph Arthur Palliser Severn. To be fair they may not have electronic records of sales going back to 1963. Ken might consider asking Christie's if this information was available.
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Re: Joseph Severn's paintings

Postby CasaMagni » Fri Dec 25, 2020 12:33 am

I looked at the Keats Shelley Journal for 1963 and 64 but there is no mention of the sale in either edition.
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Re: Joseph Severn's paintings

Postby Cathat906 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:15 pm

A further recent update from Ken

Grant Scott tells me that there is a black and white image of the painting in the Witt Library. He doesn’t know the current whereabouts of the painting. The library images are being digitised but they are not available online at the moment. https://courtauld.ac.uk/study/resources ... tt-library

Regards,
Ken


So at least a black and white image might eventually emerge, but still no information about where the original might be.
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