Previously unseen work sent to auction by centre's founder Sister Mary-Joy Langdon
Sketch of Goldie by Lucian Freud
A previously unseen sketch by celebrated artist Lucian Freud has been sold at Chiswick Auctions for £50,000 in aid of Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre.
Sketch of Goldie, in charcoal on canvas, is a 'study' that Freud left incomplete in 2003.
As we reported last month, the painter became close friends with Sister Mary-Joy Langdon, the nun who runs the centre, and she has kept the Sketch of Goldie among her treasured possessions since his death in 2011.
This year however she decided to sell the sketch to raise funds for the centre, which she founded in 1989 as the first major centre for disabled riders.
Sister Mary-Joy Langdon
Sister Mary-Joy, who was awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to disabled and disadvantaged children in 2018, first met the artist when he turned up at the centre in 2002.
After that, he combined his passions for painting, drawing and riding by becoming a regular visitor to the centre, in the south east of Wormwood Scrubs.
Today, very few of his canvases have remained unknown, making this work particularly rare.
That meant there was high demand on auction day, with fervent bidding on the telephones, in the room and on the internet, and the sketch finally being sold to an anonymous telephone bidder.
There were also various other items belonging to Freud included in the sale, which all sold well over their estimates; his easel, sold for £2,750 against an estimate of £600-£800 and his paint palette, sold for £3,750 against an estimate of £2,000-£3,000.
His rags, tea mug, that he used while at the stables, brushes and turps sold for £3,500 against an estimate of £500-£700.
The drawing was part of the Chiswick Auctions Modern & Post-War British Art sale held yesterday, Tuesday 3 December at the Bollo Lane headquarters of the auction rooms.
Krassi Kuneva, Head of Sale, Modern & Post-War British Art at Chiswick Auctions, said: "It is rare to see such preliminary workings out of a composition by Lucian Freud. He normally destroyed anything that he deemed unfinished or unworthy.
" In this case, instead of demolishing it, he left it in Mary-Joy’s hands, providing us with an exciting, intimate view of how he formed his initial ideas on canvas."
Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre is a Riding for the Disabled centre which not only provides riding for disabled children but also runs education and equine therapy programmes for children and young people with learning needs and mental health problems.
You can find out more about the work of Sister Mary-Joy and her colleagues at Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre here.
October 28, 2019