Eliot Hodgkin | A Selling Exhibition
We first came across Eliot Hodgkin when buying a house in the Cotswolds. The previous owner was a friend of the artist and had written a book on his career. We were blown away by the beauty of his depictions of nature and the unique quality of his observations. Here we have compiled a small exhibition of 16 drawings that Hodgkin made between 1945 and his death in 1987, all of which were designs for paintings, many of which were exhibited at the Royal Academy. They are all available for sale.
Eliot Hodgkin: 1905 – 1987
Eliot Hodgkin was a unique figure who carved a path influenced by his own passions rather than the dictates of the day. He became an exceptional painter of still life, although he also painted landscapes and murals, exhibiting regularly at the Royal Academy from the 1930s onwards, exhibiting a total of 113 paintings at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions between 1934 and 1981.
In recent times Hodgkin’s art has become greatly prized by collectors – many of his works are still with the families of the original owners, which include Lord Rothschild and the late Duchess of Devonshire. In 2019, a major exhibition of his work was mounted at Waddesdon Manor entitled ‘Brought to Life: Eliot Hodgkin Rediscovered’ which reflects a resurgence of interest in this unique figure in twentieth century British art.
These drawings were presumably all drawn as preliminary studies for paintings in egg tempera. Perspective lines, sometimes quite prominently architectural in form, can be made out on most of them. In some of the drawings Hodgkin has boxed them in to show his field of vision for the finished paintings. At least four of our drawings can be aligned directly with finished paintings. The simplicity of these drawings draw comparisons between his work and the Italian modernist still life artist Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) but Hodgkin’s are finished with more precision and he covers a wider range of material.
"He had exquisite taste... he was a perfectionist in his life and in his work."
- The late contemporary artist, Howard Hodgkin, on his cousin Eliot Hodgkin
Eliot Hodgkin, 1957
I try to look at quite simple things as though I were seeing them for the first time and as though no one had ever painted them before.