Petworth art collection sells for more than £800k

Ivon Hitchens - Colour of Flowers SUS-140425-124253001
Ivon Hitchens - Colour of Flowers SUS-140425-124253001

PAINTINGS created by Petworth painter Ivon Hitchens were sold at auction last week for more than £800,000.

Hitchens was bombed out of his house in 1940 and painted for 40 years from a caravan at Petworth.

His works, which were sold last week by auctioneers Bonhams, came from a single-owner collection of 15 pictures –the largest such collection to come on the market.

Produced over three decades, the collection of Hitchens’ pictures sold for a total of £812,100. The top price was £79,300 for ‘Poppies against a Grey Background’.

Ivon Hitchens, the son of a painter and the father and grandfather of painters, started exhibiting in the 1920s, going on to exhibit all over the world.

He was part of the collection of artists known as the London Group. When his house was bombed during the second world war, he took up residence in a caravan on a patch of woodland near Petworth, where he worked for the next 40 years.

He is best known for his panoramic landscape images using strong blocks of colour, and was exhibited in the British Pavilion at the 1956 Venice Biennale.

The collection of 15 of his works sold last week were from the estate of Elizabeth Creak, who died last year, and were sold to benefit the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust to provide scholarships in agriculture to support new blood in farming and to finance projects to help farmers survive and thrive in the challenging modern agricultural environment.

The sale of Hitchens’ works were part of a Bonhams sale of British and Irish art headed by a roll-call of modern greats – Lynn Chadwick, LS Lowry, Henry Moore, Eric Gill and Euan Uglow.