Previously only known from a 1910 print and unrecorded for half a century, this 20in x 2ft 6in (50 x 75cm) oil by John William Godward (1861-1922) will be offered by Lawrences in Crewkerne on October 12.
Painted in 1909, Summer Idleness: Day Dreams had passed
through Christie's in London in 1937 (when it made just under £70),
but it is being sold by the daughter of a lady who purchased it
from Harrods in 1957 for £100.
"It's a wonderful find," says Lawrences' specialist
Richard Kay, who expects it to bring £150,000-200,000. "The owners
knew that they owned a fine picture but had no idea that its
whereabouts had been unknown for well over half a century."
Dr Vern Swanson, the American authority on Godward, whose
monograph of the artist's work The Eclipse of Classicism
lists dozens of Godward's pictures, has recently assessed the
picture and declares it to be a revelation, saying that it is "one
of the most sensitively coloured paintings in Godward's oeuvre". He
will now include it with a bigger illustration in an updated
edition of his book and is delighted to learn of its existence.