Great Bardfield artists talk at Sworders

Essex auction house Sworders are hosting a preview and drinks reception of their upcoming Modern & Contemporary Art auction in partnership with the Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden. 

On display at the evening event at the Stanstead Mountfitchet auction room on Monday, April 24 will be 60 pictures by artists from the Great Bardfield school that will be offered for sale the following day.

A Snowy Day, High Street, Great Bardfield by Edward Bawden
A Snowy Day, High Street, Great Bardfield by Edward Bawden

Artist Chloë Cheese will give a talk titled Life in Great Bardfield. An English illustrator, painter and print-maker, whose parents were both artists, she spent her childhood in Great Bardfield. The Fry has many of her works as well as those of her father Bernard Cheese and mother Sheila Robinson. 

As usual for the Stansted Mountfitchet auction house, Sworders’ sale includes a strong showing by East Anglian artists. Edward Bawden, who discovered the village of Great Bardfield with his friend Eric Ravillious while cycling in Essex one summer, is represented by both watercolours and linocuts. Some are local scenes.

A 45 x 56cm watercolour, gouache, ink and pen titled A Snowy Day, High Street, Great Bardfield, is signed and dated 1955. Part of the Bawden exhibition held at The Minories, Colchester in 1973, it is expected to sell for between £7,000-£9,000. Original Bawden prints are estimated from £150-£1,500.

Path to the House by John Aldridge

John Aldridge (1905-83) was part of the second influx of artists to the village. His work is selling for increasingly high sums. An impressive oil titled  depicting the artist’s garden at Place House, Great Bardfield is estimated at £5,000-£7,000. Signed and dated for 1973, it was purchased at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1975.