The Film Star, The Artist, And 44 Nude Women

Collection of sketches with an extraordinary history come under the hammer at Chiswick Auctions

This picture has been identified as being likely to be of Caitlin Thomas, wife of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas

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They link one of Britain's greatest post-impressionist artists with one of our greatest screen sirens and will come under the hammer this week at Chiswick Auctions.

The connection is a series of sketches once considered by their creator Augustus John to be unworthy of public viewing let alone for sale.

In a moment of madness the Welsh born artist attempted to destroy the images only for Elizabeth Taylor's father to step in a save them.

Elizabeth and her art dealer father Francis apparently witnessed the enraged artist's tantrum. Francis was said to have calmed Augustus, who at the time was one of Britain's best known artists, and convinced him to that the collection should be pieced back together.

Though many of Augustus John's works have been sold for considerable sums of money, this collection which was inherited by Elizabeth Taylor from her father, has remained with the film star's family until now.

But why Chiswick Auctions?

"She filmed at Chiswick House many years ago. She also used to go to a pub in Chiswick High Road with Richard Burton," explained Chiswick Auctions Fine Art Expert Jan Lehman.

The 44 drawings for sale are female nude studies and portraits with estimates ranging from £200 to £800.

September 27, 2010

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