If one conducts an internet search for the English twentieth century artist Bettina Shaw-Lawrence, one finds her name mingled with some of England's modern art greats, (and literature notables, as well), she knew Lucian Freud, Cedric Morris, David Kentish, the Surrealist poet David Gascoyne.......and studied with the likes of Fernand Leger and Ossip Zadkine. Today the artist lives in comparative obscurity, in her nineties, in Italy, and her art is seemingly ignored by the auction world, but, as part of the East Anglia School of art, she was witness to some fascinating times and people of the art world at mid century. Online information even states that she had a brief "fling", when young, with Lucian Freud. Certainly, she had a front row seat to the artistic development of that seminal artist, the works of whom today bring millions of dollars. Betty, as she is sometimes known, was exhibiting at the prestigious Leicester Gallery after the war. From 1957 to 1967, she lived in Italy. Few of her oils and drawings seem to have been auctioned over the years, and those that have have not brought the sums they deserve, considering the quality of the work and the artist's place in Modern British art history. Shaw-Lawrence exhibited on both sides of the Atlantic. This piece is a pastel drawing, dated 1964, which would place it squarely in the middle of the period when she lived in Italy, and indeed, the subject matter certainly looks Italian. The work, (17" by 22 1/2" and frame 1 1/2" in width), has several edge tears extending into the image. These are at upper left and center right, and there are several other long sharp creases extending from the edges well into the image. The picture was found in West Palm Beach, Florida. It is framed behind this non-glare glass which should be discarded, at which time the drawing should be properly re-framed with a mat. All images taken through the detail-dulling non-glare glass. Google the artist's name for much more on her fascinating journey through English modern art history.
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