At Christie's sale of Victorian and British Impressionist painters this week, much attention was focused on the portrait of Alfred Munnings by Harold Knight, found hidden in his wife's work Le Carnival, and indeed this caused much excitement amongst bidders
However, the three top sales were oil paintings by Henry Herbert La Thangue, William Powell Frith and Solomon Joseph Solomon.
Frith's 1847 work An English Merrymaking a Hundred Years Ago is very well documented as a whole chapter of Frith's autobiography. He felt that at the third attempt, he had finally made a real breakthrough with the quality of his painting with this oil painting of a jolly, colourful summer's day.
Frith, like many other artists used Milton's 'L'Allegro' as an inspiration. The work sold as expected, for £349,250.
La Thangue's (1859-1929)work In the Orchards, Haylands, Graffham presents a simple, but somehow captivating scene of a girl carrying baskets of apples. The work sold in the middle of its range of estimates for £385,250.
The top lot, however, as expected was Solomon Joseph Solomon's tall painting of the creation of Eve. Clearly the piece several bidders had been waiting for, it fetched an impressive $713,250 to round off a strong sale for Christie's.