Stanley Spencer's success continues as Hilda with Bluebells achieves $583,500
Following the extraordinary results for the opening day of the Evill/Frost collection at Sotheby's, the second session continued much as expected: that is an ongoing triumph for the works of Stanley Spencer.

In the first session, a work by Lucian Freud: Boy on a Sofa, his early portrait of child burglar Billy Lumley, (who attempt to break into Freud's house, and whom the artist therefore naturally insisted on committing to canvas) set a world record price for Freud of $2.4m.

But it was Spencer, (one of Freud's favourite painters) who took the main plaudits, achieving £4,745,250 (over $7.7m) and £4,185,250 respectively for his works Workmen in the House and The Bathing Pool. The high value of his works as alternative investments is becoming ever clearer. 

Stanley Spencer's Hilda with Bluebells painting
Stanley Spencer's evocative painting Hilda with Bluebells

On the second day, there were somewhat more affordable paintings going under the hammer. The two chief lots presented Spencer's wife Hilda:

Hilda with Bluebells, painted in 1955 looks back to the earliest years of the artist's relationship with first wife Hilda Carline, and sees Spencer creating an image which draws on their courtship in and around Hampstead, Hilda's home.

Spencer became particularly keen on painting Hilda after they separated in 1935, and she died in 1950. Both sit on the grass, Hilda captivated by the flowers before her, with Spencer distracted by something away to the left of the picture.

The painting beat its listing of £250,000-350,000 to sell for £361,250 ($583,500) whilst his Portrait of Hilda £229,250 ($370,300).


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