(Enlarged Photo)

Golgotha by Sybil Andrews (1898-1993)

Colour lino-cut, dated 1931, signed and numbered 31/60

Sybil Andrews is an important avant garde printmaker, who learned the colour lino-cut technique directly from its inventor, Claude Flight, at the influential Grosvenor School of Art in the 1920s. Her colour linocuts – along with those of her husband, Cyril Power - are among the most seminal designs of the period and are thus highly sought after by collectors.

‘Golgotha’ represents one of Andrews’ first ventures into religious art; she later produced a full ‘Stations of the Cross’. By revisiting the crucifixion scene and placing it in an almost mechanical, factory-like setting, Andrews somehow re-invests the scene with a modern sense of horror.

Our lino-cut (from a limited edition of 60) is in quite exceptionally fresh and original condition; the four block colours – pale yellow ochre, crimson, purple madder and red - are unusually vivid and unfaded, given the print’s age (75 years).

This is almost certainly due to the unusual circumstances of its discovery: in autumn last year, we bought a drawing by John Nash, which had a damaged and worm-eaten frame, as well as a slightly odd, pinkish tinge. During the re-framing process, we were telephoned by an intrigued framer, who told us that “something interesting” had fallen out of the frame.

For some unknown reason, the Nash drawing, which also dated from the 1930s, had simply been laid on top of the print, which had, therefore, not seen the sun for 70-odd years, preserving its colours perfectly. At that time, the linocut’s creator, Sybil Andrew, was a completely unknown art student. Now, her unconsidered linocut is worth half a dozen times more than the drawing it was buried beneath.


Tel: 0791 935 6150        Email simfineart@btinternet.com     1 Royal Parade, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5PG