MacBryde painting for sale

The Robert McBryde still life which Hertfordshire County Council is selling at auction next month.
The Robert McBryde still life which Hertfordshire County Council is selling at auction next month.

A still life painting by Maybole born artist Robert MacBryde is included in a major collection of works being offered for sale by Hertfordshire County Council.

The council is selling 428 of its 1828 piece art collection and those being auctioned by Cheffins Fine Art Auctioneers in Cambridge on March 21, are from some of the most renowned British artists of the 20th century.

With 60 per cent of the art collection in storage and not available to the public, the county council believes that the approach it is taking to the art collection balances its fiduciary duty to its council tax payers, while aiming to achieve much improved access and display of the retained collection for the public.

The highlight of the collection is a pastel work by Scottish artist, Joan Eardley, which has an estimate of £12,000-£18,000. Also from Scotland is a picture called ‘Blue Plate’ by Edinburgh School artist, Anne Redpath, which has an estimate of £10,000-£15,000 and the still life by Robert MacBryde, which has an estimate of £7,000-£10,000.

MacBryde, a Scottish still-life and figure painter and a theatre set designer, worked in a factory for five years after leaving school before studying art at Glasgow School of Art from 1932 to 1937. A painter of the Modernist school of art he was known for his brightly colourd Cubist studies, before evolving into a darker Expressionist range of still lifes and landscapes.

As a set designer he worked in collaboration with Robert Colquhoun, who he met at the Glasgow School of art and with whom he had a long-term professional and personal relationship, on sets for Gielgud’s Macbeth, King Lear at Stratford and Massine’s Scottish ballet Donald of the Burthens, produced by the Sadler’s Wells Ballet at Covent Garden in 1951.

Brett Tryner, associate at Cheffins who is handling the sale said: “Many of the artists featured have seen a new-found appreciation over the past decade, with many of these post-war painters now achieving stellar prices at auction.

“Although many of the artists had a strong reputation at the time of the council’s purchase, the vast proportion were often overlooked in place of bigger names from Europe or further afield. New-found appreciation, retrospectives and recent academic publications have helped to grow a burgeoning market for these artists amongst mainly UK-based collectors, galleries and institutions.”