Woodshed Art Auctions to offer attributed Gainsborough study Nov. 1


Study attributed to Thomas Gainsborough (British, 1727-1788) for ‘The Honourable Mrs. Graham.’ Woodshed Art Auctions image

FRANKLIN, Mass. – A study attributed to Thomas Gainsborough for one of the renowned English painter’s most recognizable compositions, The Honourable Mrs. Graham, one of the finest examples of 18th-century portraiture, is an expected headliner in Woodshed Art Auctions’ Nov. 1 fine art auction, titled “Gainsborough, Monet, Warhol & Friends.” Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

The auction will consist of a select group of 58 paintings and studies by, and attributed to, master artists such as Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988), Wifredo Lam (Cuban, 1902-1982), Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Joaquin Torres Garcia (Uruguayan, 1874-1949) and Gainsborough (1727-1788).

“Discovering the under-drawing on what we believe to be Gainsborough’s oil study for The Honourable Mrs. Graham led to the creation of this select grouping of historic artists,” said Bruce Wood, the owner of Woodshed Art Auctions. “The range of working techniques, from 18th and 19th-century academic methods to the loose Impressionist renderings, through the energetic applications of the Expressionists, provides an amazing introduction to the evolution of Western art in the past 200 years. The auction may be light on quantity, but it’s very strong on quality.”

The Honourable Mrs. Graham is one of the most famous paintings in the Scottish National Gallery. The background of the exhibited version is a quintessential Gainsborough Rococo landscape, while the study in the auction replaces a bucolic hillscape with an opaque mass of darkness, capped by an eerie sunset – a stark contrast to the pale, white Mrs. Graham.

This variation in backgrounds is a clear indication that the work being sold is perhaps a preparation sketch for the more intricate version that hangs in Scotland. Gainsborough was famous for dabbling in a variety of prominent styles during his illustrious career, and the background in the study is reminiscent of the one in Gainsborough’s self-portrait, from 1759.

The painting, in a 40¼-by-55-inch frame, has an estimate of $75,000-$100,000. And, while it is in exceptional condition, it does show signs of age, furthering the notion that it is a study by Gainsborough. The manner of cracking is consistent with other portraits of the period, including the one in the National Gallery and in his works at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

A few other paintings in the sale carry even higher estimates than the Gainsborough. One is an acrylic and oil stick on canvas attributed to Jean-Michel Basquiat, titled Cut Off. The 45½-by-59-inch (in the frame) painting is signed and dated (“81”) verso. It has an estimate of $80,000-$120,000.


Acrylic and oil stick on canvas attributed to Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000). Woodshed Art Auctions image

Carrying an identical $80,000-$120,000 estimate is an oil on panel abstract painting attributed to Joaquin Torres Garcia, signed and dated (“43”) bottom right and housed in an 18¼-by-30½-inch frame. Garcia is perhaps Uruguay’s most famous artist. He sought to synthesize the classical with the avant-garde. During his lifetime he exhibited widely and garnered international acclaim.


Framed oil on panel abstract painting attributed to Joaquin Torres Garcia. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000. Woodshed Art Auctions image

Yet another six-figure candidate is Jackson Pollock, the American painter widely known for his role as a leader of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Offered will be an enamel paint on canvas attributed to Pollock, titled Red, Orange, Yellow and Black Drip, signed and dated (“51”) bottom left. The 26½-by-38¾-inch unframed work has an estimate of $80,000-$100,000.

The French Impressionist Claude Monet is represented more than once in the sale, first with a tempera and gouache on paper titled Waterlilies, signed and verso marked with a gallery stamp and reference number (est. $50,000-$80,000); and second with a tempera on paper titled Winter Landscape, signed and verso stamped “Collection Simon, Paris, France.” (est. $25,000-$35,000). Both are framed attributions and come with COAs from the Art Collectors Group, Luxembourg.


Tempera and gouache on paper attributed to Claude Monet (1840-1926) titled ‘Waterlilies.’ Estimate: $50,000-$80,000. Woodshed Art Auctions image

A stylized rendering of Mick Jagger by Andy Warhol, signed front and back and with the verso stamp of Arthur Tooth Gallery, London, and a label with a reference number, in an 18¾-by-14¾-inch frame, will open the auction.


Stylized rendering of Mick Jagger attributed to Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987). Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Woodshed Art Auctions image

For details contact Wood at 508-533-6277 or by email: bruce@woodshedartauctions.com.