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This is in part due to his paintings not turning up very frequently at auction or in galleries, which in turn is a result of a relatively small output. Early in life he suffered a riding accident, resulting in concussion and the loss of his right foot. This misfortune led to a mental disorder in 1918 and by 1921 he was unable to paint at all.

Although looked upon very much as a British artist, Lees was, in fact, born in Melbourne, Australia and, following his studies there and in Paris, came to London in 1905, where he studied at the Slade for three years. Despite only painting in a professional capacity for less than 15 years, Lees became highly regarded by critics and regularly mixed with the likes of Henry Lamb (1883-1960), James Dickson Innes (1887-1914) and Augustus John (1878-1961). He painted in the tradition of the New English Art Club, of which be became a member in 1911, his romantic response to landscapes admirably illustrating his sensibility, which showed itself chiefly in a feeling for almost flat patterns, enhanced by the colour and the elegance of his fluid brush strokes. That said, he was accused of being a copycat, particularly of Innes’ style – “I tire of seeing my own subjects so many times,” Innes wrote of Lees’ pictures.

As already noted, Lees’ paintings do not come on to the market very frequently – Art Sales Index list just 21 examples over the past decade. That said, the artist’s oil on panel Lyndra at Aldbourne (The Red Jacket) sold at Bonhams, New Bond Street on March 16 for £4000, against upper expectations of £2500.

This painting was featured in the exhibition devoted to the work of Augustus John, J.D. Innes and Lees, which took place from February 2-March 4, 1939 at the Redfern Gallery in London’s Cork Street.

Coincidentally, another Lees featured in the same show comes up for sale on April 7 at the Salisbury salerooms of Woolley & Wallis. Painted on panel, as is often the case with Lees’ work, The Blue Pool, 12 3/4 x 16in (32.5 x 40.5cm), right, illustrates well the artist’s characteristic technique of rapid dabs in harmonious tones. Painted around 1911, this is one of a group, including a slightly larger example in Manchester City Art Gallery, that Lees produced of this Dorset scene. In the 1930s such works retailed at around £25-35, but today Paul Viney of Woolley & Wallis has placed a value of £1500-2500 on The Blue Pool, which, compared with some current prices for other 20th century painters, does not seem excessive.

There is further exposure for the artist at Southampton City Art Gallery, where from this Friday (March 26) to May 23 Lees’ important oil Banyuls is included in the exhibition Vanishing Points: Landscape Art Beyond the Horizon.