4th Jul, 2023 12:00

Modern British & Irish Art

Lot 27 §


On Saturday Evenings Mother Sang
signed with fly insignia (lower right); further signed, inscribed and dated 'On Saturday Evenings Mother Sang-/"Her Father he has locked the door/Her Mother Keeps the Key/but neither locks nor bolts/Shall part my own true love from me-/george and I, aunt Mary and the dogs are/waiting for Father to say "Ho, ho, Jane you/ are wrong". "Was I Frederick", Mother said/with a twinkle in her eye, knowing/Father couldn't play that bit on his violin,/Then Grandmother awoke and said-/"Come, let us all sing Excelsior-/and the year was 1906-/Helen Layfield Bradley (1966)' (on a label attached to the backboard)
oil on canvasboard
50.8 x 60.9 cm. (20 x 24 in.)

With Mercury Gallery, London, 4 January 1967, where acquired by the present owner

Helen Bradley was a British artist known for her charming and nostalgic paintings depicting scenes from her childhood and early 20th-century life in Lancashire, England. She gained popularity later in life when her artwork captured the attention of the public and art collectors.

Born Helen Layfield in Lees, Lancashire, England, Bradley discovered her passion for painting at a young age. However, it wasn't until the 1960s, in her sixties, that she began to receive recognition for her work. Her paintings captured the essence of a bygone era, showcasing the simplicity, innocence, and charm of village life in the early 1900s.

Bradley's paintings often feature children, country landscapes, and domestic scenes, painted in a whimsical and detailed style. She used soft colours, delicate brushwork, and a sense of narrative storytelling to evoke a sense of nostalgia and warmth.

One of her most well-known works is ‘The Visit of the Tooth Fairy’ which depicts a child eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Tooth Fairy in her bedroom. This painting and many others captured the imagination of the public and resonated with those who longed for a simpler time.

Helen Bradley's popularity grew throughout the 1970s, and her paintings were exhibited in galleries across Great Britain. Her work was also reproduced as prints, which made her art accessible to a wider audience. After her death in 1979, her legacy continued, and her artwork remains beloved by many collectors and enthusiasts of nostalgic and narrative art.

Sold for £36,250

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