Joshua Reynolds’ portrait

Joshua Reynolds’ portrait of Mrs Letitia Sparrow, estimate £15,000-25,000 at Sloane Street Auctions.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The sale at Sloane Street Auctions on April 18 will include works by Georges Braque, Peter Cough and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva among many others that Rouve, a Bulgarian exile, collected over the half century leading up to his death.

His big screen contributions included the role of associate director to Michelangelo Antonioni on Blow-Up, the 1966 psychological (1966) thriller set in London starring David Hemmings and Vanessa Redgrave. The following year he directed James Mason in the crime drama Stranger in The House.

Rouve was also steeped in the world of art, writing a book on JMW Turner and becoming vice-president of the International Association of Art Critics and president of the International Jury of the Rijeka Biennale of Drawings.

Rouve’s sister was the art critic Dora Vallier, who wrote the catalogue raisonée for the complete graphics of Braque, as well as major works on abstract art, Henri Rousseau and Vieira da Silva.

Shown above is Joshua Reynolds’ portrait of Mrs Letitia Sparrow (née Popham, 1746-1838), dating to 1766. Measuring 91 x 76cm (3ft x 2ft 6in) in its frame, the estimate is £15,000-25,000.