10,000 Miles and Back to Wigan

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buy isherwood painting from hepplestone fine art galleryWhen a painting first comes off the easel and heads to it’s first gallery showing, it is impossible to imagine where it will end up and the adventures that it will go on during it’s lifetime. A recent gallery acquisition is a prime example as it has come home to Lancashire after a 10,000 mile journey to the other side of the world.

In January we were contacted by an art dealer in Tucson Arizona explaining that they had a client looking to sell a painting that had been held in their family for many years by an English artist by the name of Isherwood. Hepplestone’s were approached as one of the world’s leading specialists in Isherwood’s work and we were therefore excited to hopefully unearth a previously unseen work by the late Northern artist.

Upon receiving the email image of the painting, it was clear that we were looking at an untouched and rare painting of Chester city centre, a subject matter that was not often painted by Isherwood and in a detailed style that was only seen in his early paintings dated from the 1950s and 1960s.

Removed from it’s early frame for transit, onto the plane it went to begin it’s 5000 mile journey back to Lancashire and we waited with anticipation to see the painting in person for the first time.

Upon receiving the precious package, the paper on the reverse of the painting included newspaper clippings on the artist from the period and upon removing the backing, Isherwood’s trademark handwriting was evident confirming that indeed the subject matter was ‘The Rows’ in Chester.

Although subdued in colour palette and clearly untouched over six decades, we embarked upon an extensive clean and restoration to reveal the fine detail and beautiful colours originally laid down by the artist.  The process revealed what can only be described as one of Isherwood’s most wonderful works, where the warmth of the shop lights spills onto Chester’s pavements, illuminating the shoppers who stroll on by.  The detail of the architecture is wonderful and a true demonstration of Isherwood’s ability to accurately deal with perspective whilst maintaining his own unique style and not falling into the trap of presenting a soulless photograph representation.

Understandably, after the work to restore and reframe the painting, the piece was snapped up within hours by a London based collector with links to Chester who will cherish and enjoy the painting in the next part of it’s life.  As ever with such Northern art pieces, the current owner is simply just the custodian for this period of time before it is time for it’s timeless charm to enrich somebody else’s life.

The Row Chester by James Lawrence Isherwood. Private Collection.

If you have an unseen work by Isherwood that you would like to sell and move onto a new collector, please contact us at the gallery as we would love to see it.  Likewise if you would like to be the first to see new works as they are acquired by the gallery, contact us at sales@hepplestonefineart.com and sign up to our newsletter now.