Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Maurice de Sausmarez (1915-1969)   BIOGRAPHY

Allegory, 1938
Framed (ref: 151)
Oil on canvas, 30 x 50 in. (78 x 128 cm.)


Provenance: acquired directly from the artist's wife

In an exceptional polished fruitwood frame with gilded acorn and oakleaf knull

Allegory was painted in 1938, when De Sausmarez was a final-year student at the RCA. Essentially a modern-day narrative, the painting also refers to the life of Christ, from the moment of conception to the Agony in the Garden: the Visitation is on the right, the Nativity in the centre (with shepherds on the hills). The group on the left are possibly Pharisees and Saducees. The painting shows the influence of Stanley Spencer and his circle, evidence that his figurative legacy was still of consequence in the late 1930s. In the post-war years, like so many of his generation, De Sausmarez evolved towards an abstract style.

We are grateful to Alistair Hicks for his help in cataloguing this painting.

Maurice de Sausmarez (1915-1969)

Painter, teacher and writer on art education who, after attending Christ's Hospital, studied at the Royal College of Art. Among his teaching positions, he was principal of Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting and Head of the Department of Fine Art at Leeds University. He participated in the Pilgrim Trust Recording Britain project. Among his writings was the book Basic Design, which had a revolutionary effect on art education in many parts of the world. He showed at the RA, LG, NEAC and Leicester Galleries and was elected ARA in 1963. In 1971 Homage to Maurice de Sausmarez at Upper Grosvenor Galleries included work by him and his friends. He was highly influential as a teacher: amongst his better-known students is Bridget Riley. His works are held by the Victoria and Albert Museum and by several northern galleries. He was a Chelsea Arts Club member who lived finally in London.

See all works by Maurice de Sausmarez