Sunday, November 30, 2008

My favorite Painting in the World is for Sale!

This just in from the BBC

"A painting which has been reproduced for one of the most popular Christmas card designs is to be sold at auction.

Scottish artist Joseph Farquharson painted Sheep Beneath Snow Encumbered Branches more than 100 years ago.

Jo Marchbank, of Hallmark Cards, said the picture, of sheep in a snowy field under a setting sun, was one of the company's most popular Christmas cards.

It will be auctioned by Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh on Wednesday and has been valued at £70,000.

Ms Marchbank said Farquharson created a "unique atmosphere" in his paintings.

"The dramatic yet subtle depiction of a winter landscape with a beautiful light bathing the scene from a setting sun," she said.

Farquharson, who was laird of a 20,000-acre Aberdeenshire estate, died in 1935 - aged 88.

It is thought he exhibited the painting at the Royal Academy in 1901.

The current owner bought it 40 years ago for £1,450.

It has been a popular Christmas card for about 30 years."

I wish I could buy this painting. It is called 'The shortening winter's day is near a close' and was painted in 1903! You would think the BBC would do a little better covering this sale and go into some detail about it! It's worth a great deal more than a summer house to me but I have no money to buy art! I have a webpage devoted to Joseph Farquharson that gets a zillion hits a month. Check it out! The unusual titles of many of Farquharson's paintings stand out and are sometimes long. Research shows that many of them were taken from poems by Burns, Milton, Shakespeare and Gray. Farquharson was very patriotic and well versed in Scottish literature. He was elected ARA 1890, RA 1915 and in addition to exhibiting over 200 works at the RA he showed 73 at the RSA and 181 at the Fine Art Society. Among many other exhibits at the RCA, GI, and the Tate AG. The renowned artist-critic, Sickert made Farquharson the subject of an essay comparing him with Courbet and preferring Farquharson. He extolled Farquharson's tension and realism and criticized the pretension of his polar opposites, the Bloomsbury Group, whose writ he said "fortunately does not run in the North of Scotland". The remarkable realism of Farquharson’s work can be attributed to his desire to work in "plein air". This had to be carried out in a unique way which was adapted to the harsh Scottish climate. Farquharson had constructed a painting hut on wheels, complete with a stove and large glass window for observing the landscape. Likewise to achieve as realistic a result as possible when painting the sheep which frequently appear in his snowscapes, he used a flock of "imitation" sheep which could be placed as required in the landscape of his choice. Farquharson painted so many scenes of cattle and sheep in snow he was even nicknamed ‘Frozen Mutton Farquharson’. I also made the wikipedia page about Farquharson although its been messed with allot since I put it up.


Live_Steam_Mad said...

Hi, the BBC actually did do a ten or so minute mini documentary on this painting and on Joseph Farquharson which appeared on The One Show on Tuesday 15th Dec. 2009 on BBC One. I have the programme on DVD and my PC HDD. There is one day left of rights for this show I think so you can still download it from by using Firefox and e.g. Proxysel (otherwise if you're not in the UK then you will get rejected as we pay 140 GBP TV license fee per year to watch the BBC and the BBC protects their programming from foreign access) then use Mirakagi.exe and play the file whilst you still have rights in WMP and it grabs the DRM key, then use Fairuse4wm.exe to un-DRM the file and then you can burn it to DVD using first AVIDEMUX and then Nero VE. LOL. Or if you can't manage it I'll put it onto youtube shortly! BTW can you tell me where I can buy a pack of all of the popular J.F. paintings like this one as Christmas cards? Hallmark have the rights to the reproductions of the paintings on cards but I can't find them on their IMHO useless website... Cheers, Alistair G.

Live_Steam_Mad said...

As promised, Joseph Farquharson mini documentary here ;- . Cheers, Alistair G.

Anonymous said...

hi my names adam ive actually got this picture in my loft i had a look at it but its not signed dont realy know what to do with it any ideas my email is ..

Anonymous said...

I have this picture is it worth email is

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