I had a second chance at this portrait after losing it to a higher bidder on ebay. It appeared back up for auction again a few months later, so I bid again and won. Apparently the first bidder’s cheque bounced (people still send cheques?)! The seller described it as ‘Northern School’.
I was intrigued by this chap. I love the rawness of the crude, impasto strokes of the face. It looks like it was painted hastily. Impatient sitter perhaps? There’s something enigmatic about him.
From his hairstyle he looks like he’s from the 50’s. I’ve name him Percival. I can’t make up my mind whether he’s from a posh public school or a more humble, grammar school. It could be either.
I tried to find out so I emailed it to the National Portrait Gallery to see if they could help. No luck there, but they suggested that the reference code on the back means it has gone through a saleroom at some point. So I contacted Christies. A lady called Jessica said “The code on the back of the frame does not appear to be one used by Christie’s” so I tried Sotherbys. A nice chap called Grant Ford who is Head of British and Irish Art Post 1850 suggested that the code was one used at Christies in Glasgow. So back to Christies! I couldn’t find an email address for Christies Glasgow so I try their nearest Scottish auction house at Edinburgh. Sadly still awaiting a response from an email I sent back in July 2014.
Curiously there is another painting on its reverse of a vase of flowers and L.S.L scrawled across it in black paint. L.S. Lowry maybe?!!! Not his style at all, but you never know!