Props, circa 1951

SKU: 479
Signed and titled on the reverse
Egg tempera on panel, 24 √ó 20 in. (61 √ó 50.8 cm.)

Height – 61cm x Width – 50.8cm


private collection, USA

Provenance: private collection, USA
Exhibited: Society of British Artists, year unknown

the evidence of the address on the reverse, this painting can be dated
to around 1951, when the artist moved from Polperro to Looe (both
in  Cornwall). Armfield, like his uncle, Maxwell, was an expert on
tempera painting; in 1958 he published Tempera Painting (London and New
York); he also broadcast on the subject on television.

The number on the propeller is its component number, and not the parent vessel’s registration.

We are grateful to Geoff Hassell for his assistance.

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Stuart Armfield
1916 - 1999

Painter, notably in tempera, horn in Sanderstead, Surrey. He studied at
West of England College of Art, Bristol, and was from 1935-40 on the
art staff of Ealing Studios. Films worked on included Gracie Fields’
Sing As We Go, 1934 and George formby’s I See Ice, 1938. During a short
contract at a Paris film studio, from his cousin Maxwell Armfield he
learned the tempera technique. Wrote the manual Tempera Painting.
Showed at RA, with St Ives Society of Artists of which he was a member,
Arthur Jeffress Gallery, RWS and in America. Lived in Looe, Cornwall,
later in Plymouth, Devon. After World War II, Armfield produced
Symbolist pictures which featured black models, chessboards and keys,
sought by collectors such as King Hassan of Morocco, the exiled Prince
Chula of Thailand and the actor Lric Portman. Ironically for a Quaker
pacifist, who was a conscientious objector in World War II, Armfield’s
sole work in a British public collection at the time of his death was
Anti­Invasion Obstructions, in the Imperial War Museum. James Colman
Fine Art held an eightieth-birthday retro­spective in 1996, a memorial
show in 2000.

With thanks to