Chris Beetles Gallery occupies a distinct position in the world of commercial art galleries by specialising in traditional artworks from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and by remaining particularly focussed on British watercolours, oils, illustrations, cartoons and figurative sculptures.
Chris Beetles Gallery holds the greatest stock of original illustrations and cartoons for sale in the world, with extensive collections of original artwork by all the great British illustrators, including Louis Wain, Arthur Rackham, William Heath Robinson, E H Shepard and Ronald Searle, and such contemporary greats as John Burningham and Michael Foreman. The gallery is also the exclusive representative of Peter Brookes of The Times, Matt of the Daily Telegraph, and Ed McLachlan, the veteran doyen of the joke cartoon.
The gallery was founded by Chris Beetles in 1975, and since 1984 has been based in St James’s, London’s famous art dealing district. Their full range of stock is available to view on site, on request. With over 30,000 pictures in stock, and prices ranging from £100 to £250,000, the gallery is confident that no other gallery in the United Kingdom can offer such a wide range of desirable, original artwork for sale.
Chris Beetles Gallery also holds the country’s largest stock of 18th, 19th and the 20th century British watercolours, and specialises particularly in works by Thomas Rowlandson, members of the Old Watercolour Society, Hercules Brabazon Brabazon, Albert Goodwin and S R Badmin. Widely known for their expertise in watercolours, the gallery also deals significantly in oils and sculptures. The gallery manages the estates of the popular painters and sculptors, Bernard Dunstan RA, Sydney Harpley RA and Enzo Plazzotta, and represents a select group of contemporary artists, Anthony Green RA, Keith Grant and James Butler RA.
Chris Beetles Gallery has done a great deal to popularise this rapidly growing collectors’ area, and every November stages ‘The Illustrators’, an exhibition celebrating British illustrators and cartoonists, with over 500 pictures for sale. The catalogues produced for this and other exhibitions comprise the definitive literature on the subject, bought by museums and libraries around the world.
The gallery is pleased to announce START: British Painting and Sculpture from the 1950s until Now, an exhibition of post-war British artists as its contribution to START Art Fair. Taking the term ‘Start’ as its point of departure, the exhibition will focus on a number of distinctive painters and sculptors who launched their careers in Britain during the 1950s and 60s. While representing significant strands in the history of British art, each of the artists included has achieved a body of work that is as individual as it is substantial. Where pertinent, examples of both early and more recent works will be shown to demonstrate stylistic development and diversity.
Though Enzo Plazzottawas born in Italy and retained close links to his native country, it was in London that he established his sculptural practice in the 1960s. He overcame conceptual and technical challenges to produce both accessible, popular pieces and more personal expressions. The sensitive study of his young son, Mark (1968), focussing on the task of catching a fish may be considered both. Its strong suggestion of stillness contrasts with that epitome of movement, Jeté (1975), the bronze of a leaping male dancer that graces Millbank. Other favourite preoccupations included horses and adaptations of classical and Christian themes.
Enzo Plazzotta (1921-1981)
Stamped with the foundry and sculptor's mark and numbered /9, Bronze, 63.5 cm
A crucial figure among the realists of the post-war period, Peter Coker established his reputation with visceral scenes of everyday life that linked him to the Kitchen Sink painters. However, he soon applied his expressive handling and rich palette to landscapes and elements of nature.Working between Britain and France, he developed a range of subjects that encompassed the Highlands of Scotland, in the north, and the Riviera, in the south. Whether painting, drawing or etching, he always managed to distil the essence from a motif and so create an image of dynamic intensity. This intensity is well exemplified by such major statements of the mid 1960s as Apple Tree and Mountain Stream, Pyrenees No 2.
Peter Coker, RA (1926-2004)
Apple Tree, 1965
Oil on canvas, 127 x 152.5 cm
Signed, Inscribed with title, 'The Red House, Mistley, Manningtree, Essex' and dated 'Oct 1965' on reverse £35,000
Peter Coker, RA (1926-2004)
Mountain Stream, Pyrenees No 2, 1965
Oil on board, 122 x 122 cm
Signed, inscribed with title and artist's address, and dated '19th Sept 1965' on
Sydney Harpley was entranced by the human body – at rest and especially in movement – and explored its lightness and weight through a wide range of subjects from rugby players to girls on swings. Posing and executing his figures with an equal degree of audacity and elegance, he created an output that always surprised and delighted. Establishing the single female as his key focus while still a student,he rose to become the most popular sculptor to exhibit at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions during the 1980s and early 1990s. Girl Asleep on a Chair (1954-55) demonstrates that his skills were secure from the outset.
Sydney Harpley, RA FRBS (1927-1992)
Girl Asleep On a Chair, 1954-1955
Signed and numbered 3/6, Bronze 109.25 x 134.5 x 73.75 cm £55,000
Sydney Harpley, RA FRBS (1927-1992)
Woman In Furs, 1976
Signed and numbered 6/9 (on bottom left of skirt) Bronze 95.25 x 24.75 x 21.5 cm
Donald Hamilton Fraser was one of the most distinctive British Modernist painters of the immediate post-war generation. Gaining a deep understanding of the lyrical French abstraction of Taschisme, he developed an approach that combined a rich palette and bold handling. The resulting canvases initially impress as intensely coloured arrangements, and then slowly appear as brilliant summations of their subjects, whether landscape, still life or figure. Already attractive as a dazzling abstraction, Nude on a Couch (circa 1960) becomes all the more satisfying once understood as the study of a body lying at rest.
Donald Hamilton Fraser, RA (1929-2009)
Nude On a Couch c1960
Oil on board, 35.5 x 47 cm
Signed with initials £14,500
One of the greatest living British landscape painters, Keith Grant has travelled extensively, and has confronted the elements in order to produce extraordinary, resonant images of nature. As a young man, he made a particularly original contribution to the Neo-Romantic spirit when he began to explore his devotion to northern terrains, first those of his native Britain – as in The Dorset Mural (1959/2019) – and then those of Norway – as in Landscape of a Landscape, Harstad (1962) – which eventually became his adopted home. He quickly developed a highly adaptable approach that has allowed him to respond fully to a wide range of natural phenomena, and also produce imaginative compositions, sometimes on an ambitious scale.
The Sea and the Staircase, Moon Bay, Night, 2010
Oil on canvas, 120.75 x 221 cm
Signed twice, inscribed with title and '(for Roy)', and dated 6/10 and 2010
Signed, inscribed with title and dimensions, and dated 2010 on stretcher £27,500
Landscape of a Landscape, Harstad, 1961/2
Oil on board, 91.5 x 122 cm
Signed, inscribed and dated 61/62 on reverse £27,500
Icebergs Drifting Seawards, Evening Ilulissat, 1989
Oil on canvas over board, 127 x 152.5 cm
Signed and dated 89
Signed, inscribed and dated 89 on reverse £17,500
The Dorset Mural 1959 (restored 2019)
Oil on canvas, 246.5 x 411.5cm
Signed and dated 'Keith Grant 1959/2019/Pascale Oakley’
In 2019, Keith Grant received studio assistance from Pascale Oakley in returning The Dorset Mural to its pristine state. £45,000
James Butler was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1964, making him the youngest Academician at the time. Having gained a thorough grounding in carving early in his career, he then developed equal mastery as a modeller. Becoming one of Britain’s foremost figurative sculptors, he is now well known for both personal subjects and such impressive public commissions as the Fleet Air Arm Memorial (2000) that stands on Victoria Embankment. He produced a number of works for Felix Dennis’s Garden of Heroes and Villains in Dorsington, Warwickshire, including the characterful study of the great Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel (2007).
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 2007
Bronze, 66 cm
Signed, inscribed with title, dated '07 and numbered vii/x £14,500
Early in his career, David Tindle responded to Neo-Romanticism by producing low-toned atmospheric urban and river scenes, including Thames (1956). These soon evolved into spare yet dynamic near abstractions. Then from these emerged his best known works, crisply articulated egg temperas that emphasise the aura of still and apparently empty interior spaces. Remaining a versatile artist, he makes use of various media of painting and printmaking to depict a wide range of subjects.
Oil on canvas, 61 x 101.5cm
Signed and dated 1956 £4,500
No visitor to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition can overlook the highly original art of the painter and printmaker, Anthony Green. It is rooted in the School of Paris, as is indicated by The Garden of Eden (1965), a homage to the primitive Post-Impressionist, Douanier Rousseau. However, it was refined through a range of experiences, including an encounter with America (USA II, 1968), before it established its characteristic look, which includes shaped supports and a clarity of application. It rehearses the artist’s life with exuberance, humour, tenderness and passion, and celebrates his marriage to his muse, fellow artist, Mary Cozens-Walker.
The 17th Wedding Anniversary: Our Bedroom at Mole End, 1978
Oil on shaped board, 287 x 217.25 cm
Signed with initials and dated '78
Signed, inscribed with title, dimensions in inches and centimetres and hanging instructions, and dated 'Sept/Oct/Nov 1978' on reverse £24,500
A Modern Olympia II, 2013
Oil on board, 149.75 x 137.75 cm
Signed and dated 2013
Signed, inscribed with title, medium and dimensions in centimetres, and dated
2012 on reverse £25,000
USA II, 1968
122 x 111.75 cm
Signed, inscribed 'Hand-painted in USA' and dated '68
Signed and dated 1968 on reverse
Signed, inscribed with title and dimensions in inches, and 'AG #7' on stretcher Stamped 'Rowan Gallery' on stretcher £16,000
Retrospective II - The Garden of Eden, 1965
Oil on board, 122 x 122 cm
Signed and dated 65 19,000