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Laurence H.F. Irving (1897-1988) - Mid 20th Century Oil, Clouds Before the Storm



A wonderful coastal landscape by the British artist Laurence H.F. Irving (1897-1988). Here he has captured an atmospheric scene, with dark rocks jutting out towards the sea. Sailing ships can be seen in the distance, while some ominous looking clouds start to form in the distance. With a stamp from Lechertier Barbe Ltd to the reverse. Unsigned. On board.


The condition is typical for a picture of this age. With various surface marks and some minor surface dirt. Small areas of paint loss to the outer edges. Fragments of a newspaper have transferred onto the surface of the painting, most noticeably to the sky. Inspection under UV light show no sign of restoration.


36.4 x 44.2cm (14.3" x 17.4")
Sheet: 38 x 46.7cm (15" x 18.4")

Collection Information

From a collection of works acquired at the studio sale of Laurence Irving. While some are signed, all are from the artist's studio.

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Artist Biography

Laurence Henry Forster Irving OBE RDI (1897-1988) was a painter, illustrator, theatre designer and author, born in London. A grandson of Sir Henry Irving, the great actor-manager, he was educated at Wellington College and was a pilot in World War I in the Fleet Air Arm. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre in 1916. Post-war, he studied art at the Byam Shaw School of Art and at the Royal Academy Schools, London. Following an intermission in Hollywood, where he was art director to the silent film star Douglas Fairbanks Sr., for 'The Man in the Iron Mask' and 'The Taming of the Shrew'. In 1931, he was responsible for the scenic side of four major productions among them the first revival of Maugham's 'The Circle' and the dramatised version of the 'Good Companions'.

Irving designed the first production of T. S. Eliot's 'Murder in the Cathedral' and worked on three plays by J.B. Priestley. At the outset of Wold War II, he rejoined the RAF in which he served until 1945. Post-war he worked on plays at the Old Vic Company led by Sir Michael Redgrave, and others involving Donald Wolfit. Irving illustrated Conrad's 'The Mirror of the Sea' and Antoine de Saint-Exupery's 'Flight to Arras. By 1947, he was producing the film version of the Victorian classic 'Uncle Silas'.

His exhibiting career included shows at the FAS, Agnew's, GI and RSMA and he was also appointed RDI. Towards the end of his life, his work was shown on occasion at the Fosse Gallery, Stow-on-the-Wold. Examples of his work are held in the collection of the V&A.

More Information
Code kn981
Artist Laurence H.F. Irving (1897-1988)
Date Mid 20th Century
Dimensions 36.4 x 44.2cm
Framed No
Medium Oil
Style Realism
Subject Seascape & Coastal
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