Joan Eardley painting sells for record price at auction

One of the last finished paintings of Glasgow’s street children by celebrated Anglo-Scottish artist, Joan Eardley, has sold for £200,200 –  an auction record for a work by the artist.

Estimated at between £100,000 and 150,000, The Yellow Jumper went under the hammer live online with fine art auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on Thursday December 8 as part of its Scottish Paintings and Sculpture sale.

The exciting result, says the Lyon & Turnbull team, shows the continuing growth in recognition of Eardley’s work in art history and the art market.

The Yellow Jumper is an outstanding example of the artist’s depictions of the children of the now largely demolished neighbourhood of old Townhead in Glasgow city centre.

One of the final works Eardley made before her untimely death, aged 42, in August 1963, it features two children positioned in front of a bright-red graffiti-covered wall.

This was inspired by the exterior of the scrap-metal business beneath Eardley’s studio – hence the word METAL stencilled above the heads of the children in The Yellow Jumper.

The work depicts two of the Samson siblings, members of a family of 12 children who lived near her studio. They were amongst Eardley’s favourite sitters. Ann Samson, who appears in many of Eardley’s paintings, said: “It looks like it could be my sister Mary and our youngest brother Brian.”

The Yellow Jumper is related to Eardley’s Two Children, found incomplete on the artist’s easel on her death. This work now hangs in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

The painting formed part of the company’s Scottish Paintings & Sculpture sale which totalled more than £1.3 million.

Alice Strang, Senior Specialist at Lyon & Turnbull said:  “Scottish women artists triumphed in this exciting sale, with a record-breaking price achieved for Joan Eardley’s The Yellow Jumper.

“In addition, Anne Gibson Nasmyth, Bessie MacNicol and Anne Redpath also attracted fierce bidding, showing their importance in art history and in the art market. The Scottish Colourists J. D. Fergusson and S. J. Peploe performed particularly well and we are thrilled with the overall results.”

Jan Eardley pictures and paintings of street children in Townhead, Glasgow, last century.

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