Estimated at £6000-8000 in the latest Art & Design held in Cambridge on October 28, the 2ft 1in x 2ft 8in (64 x 80cm) oil on canvas was knocked down at £15,000 to dealer Philip Mould.
Signed and dated Roger Fry 1920, the work titled Le Baou des Noir, Vence depicts the rugged hills surrounding the town. The area was ever popular with artists and writers in the early 20th century including DH Lawrence, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Christopher Wood and Gwen Raverat.
Cheffins said this picture was executed on one of several trips Fry made to Vence and on this particular visit (spring 1920) Fry was accompanied by the French artist, Jean Marchand.
Fry became an advocate of what he named Post-Impressionism and as an influential member of the Bloomsbury group he was described by the art historian Kenneth Clark as “incomparably the greatest influence on taste since Ruskin… In so far as taste can be changed by one man, it was changed by Roger Fry.”
Central Bloomsbury figure
Lawrence Hendra, head of research at Philip Mould in Pall Mall, St James’s, said: “We really liked the Roger Fry. Fry was a central figure within the Bloomsbury Group and the Post-Impressionist exhibitions he staged in 1910 and 1912 changed the course of British art history.
“Fry is known predominantly for his writing, but he was also a talented painter who absorbed the influences of French avant-garde art which is exemplified in this work.”
Philip Mould held an exhibition that ended last month called Charleston: The Bloomsbury Muse showcasing works by Bloomsbury Group artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. It coincided with the Duncan Grant 1920 exhibition at Charleston House in Sussex – the first solo show of Grant’s work since his death in 1978 – which runs until March 13, 2022.