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Vivien Gribble

(London 1888-1932 Higham, Suffolk)

Sir Cedric Morris outside Pound Farm, Higham, Suffolk, c.1930 *SOLD*

oil on unlined canvas

54 x 49 cm.

in a period frame


By descent to the artist's daughter;

Christie's, London, June 1987;

Private collection, UK until 2023.

This  striking portrait of Sir Cedric Lockwood Morris (1889-1982) was painted by his close friend,  one-time-student, and fellow artist, Vivien Gribble (1888-1932), in  around 1930, the year Gribble famously leased Cedric her home at Pound  Farm, in Higham, Suffolk. It was here that he would go on to pursue his  passion for horticulture and flower painting. Only two years later, when  Vivien died of cancer tragically young, she generously left him the  farm.

There  is so much to love here, aside from the poignant story of the artist  and sitter - look how Cedric's camouflage brick-patterned coat echoes  the background wall - no doubt the bricks and mortar of Pound Farm,  itself.

There  were many illustrious artistic visitors at Pound Farm, among them  Frances Hodgkins, Barbara Hepworth and her first husband, John Skeaping.  Joan Warburton who was a student of Morris described Pound Farm as "a  paradise" on account of its exceptional gardens - and the fabulous  parties for which Cedric Morris also became well-known.

Gribble  came from a well-to-do family; her father George Gribble was High  Sheriff of Bedfordshire, and her mother was Norah Royds, a Slade-trained  artist. Artistic talent ran in the family, for her mother's cousin was  Mabel Allington Rods, known for her woodcuts. Vivien studied art in  Munich and then, following in her mother's footsteps, at the Slade, and  later at the Central School of Arts and Crafts under Noel Rooke.

During  the First World War she joined the Land Army, and in 1919 married  Douglas Doyle-Jones, a barrister, with whom she set up house at Higham  in Suffolk. The couple were soon leading a monied but Bohemian  lifestyle, painting and entertaining fellow artists and literati.

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