Lot 194
  • 194

Patrick Caulfield, R.A.

70,000 - 100,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Patrick Caulfield, R.A.
  • Engraving
  • acrylic on canvas
  • 76 by 112cm.; 30 by 44in.
  • Executed in 1983.


Waddington Galleries, London, where acquired by Colin St John Wilson, 15th December 1989


London, Waddington Galleries, Groups VII, January 1984, cat. no.19, illustrated;
London, Waddington Galleries, Patrick Caulfield, April 1985, cat. no.4, illustrated;
London, Le Caprice, For the Ivy Restaurant, June - December 1990, where lent by Colin St John Wilson;
Chichester, Pallant House Gallery, Highlights of the Wilson Collection, 1st October 1999 - 9th January 2000;
Chichester, Pallant House Gallery, Best of British II: The Art of Drawing and Painting, 24th January - 19th March 2000, where lent by Colin St John Wilson;
Chilgrove, West Sussex, Manor Place Gallery, Patrick Caulfield, Two Galleries and Two Collections, various dates between 25th July and 19th September 2004, where lent by Colin St John Wilson;
Chichester, Pallant House Gallery, Patrick Caulfield, Between the Lines, 28th March - 14th June 2009, where lent from the Wilson Collection;
Chichester, Pallant House Gallery, June 2009 - August 2012, on long-term loan from the Wilson Collection.


Marco Livingstone, Patrick Caulfield Paintings, Lund Humphries, Aldershot, 2005, p.283, illustated p.166.

Catalogue Note

As the pace of his output slowed during the mid-1980s so too did the style shift in Caulfield’s approach, evident in his rendering of the interior scene, a theme that dominated throughout the artist’s career.  The boldly obvious was replaced with a new air of mystery and unease as he turned his attention towards a busier, stippled surface.  The bold black descriptive lines of his earlier style, used to define and outline objects as seen in Still Life with Bottle, Glass and Drape (lot 35, 1964), were lost, replaced by swathes of strong block colouring that intersect to form an engaging and textured visual mosaic.  Whereas architectural references were previously merely hinted at, by the 1980s Caulfield had begun to develop his imagery with a greater visual clarity, developing new theatrical narratives quite unique to his working style. 

In Engraving we are met, as ever, with an unpopulated interior, intruding upon a drama that would otherwise only exist behind closed doors.  Caulfield presents a puzzle in the scene before us, with dimly lit lampshades and spiking leaves protruding abruptly from below.  This is a scene to which the viewer has not been welcomed into but has stumbled upon; a scene rich in its tense theatricality.  Developed further by the artist in works such as Interior with a Picture (1985-6, Tate), Caulfield goes on to incorporate elements of photorealism, a style he favoured towards the end of his career.  As in this later work, here also we are met with a picture within a picture (which itself bears striking similarities to another work from the collection of Colin St John Wilson, that of Richard Hamilton’s People, lot 196, executed in 1968), a self-referencing tool that Caulfield continued to make use of throughout his later career, developing the dialogue between two dimensional naturalistic representation and three-dimensional reality.

The present work marks a bold change in focus for an artist who by the early 1980s was already well-established and recognised within his genre.  However, his adept rendering of an already well-established theme, that of the interior, is carried off with an elegance and clarity synonymous with the artist’s oeuvre.