Gwyneth Johnstone painting sets new record

A record hammer of £14,500 has been paid for a painting by famous Norfolk-based artist, the late Gwyneth Johnstone, at Cambridgeshire’s Cheffins Art & Design Sale this month.

Titled Provencale Market, the picture was one of seventeen remaining works from Johnstone’s private collection and studio near Coltishall, Norfolk.

Gwyneth Johnstone - Provencale Market painting

Brett Tryner, Director, Cheffins said: “As the final collection of pictures from Gwyneth Johnstone’s private studio, these works were completely fresh-to-the-market and the results achieved go to show her growing popularity amongst both private buyers and the trade. Johnstone is starting to be recognised as one of East Anglia’s finest artists from the post-war era and her energetic and romantic landscapes are growing in appreciation as some of the best of the genre.”

Other highlights amongst the paintings on offer included Abstract with Trees which sold for £1,700 and London Square II which made £1,600 both against estimates of £300 – £500. Similarly, another abstract landscape, Trees with Moon, sold for £1,600, eight times its lower estimate of £200 – £300.

Johnstone was born in 1915 in Coltishall, Norfolk, and was the illegitimate daughter of musician Nora Brownsword and famous artist, Augustus John. From 1933 – 1938, she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London where she established friendships with artists Mary Fedden and Virginia Parsons. She also trained under cubist artists, Andre Lhote in Paris and Cecil Collins.

Gwyneth Johnstone spent her time between her home in Norfolk and later in the South of France and Spain. She died in 2010 and was buried alongside her mother in a ruined church near Coltishall.

Johnstone’s pictures appeared in a series of group shows in the 1960s, including the Women’s International Art Club and Young Contemporaries, however it was from the 1980’s onwards that she saw her most success with a series of solo exhibitions in both London and Norfolk.

Cheffins previously set the record for a Gwyneth Johnstone picture at auction titled Living at Barnsbury Terrace which sold for £13,000 in February 2020, also from the personal collection.

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