The sale featuring important local art, maps and books together with regional furniture, clocks and various other antiques and ephemera related to East Anglia is due to become a regular addition to Reeman Dansie’s busy sales calendar, with the inaugural sale to be held on April 12th/13th 2016, this auction will celebrate the unique and exceptional artist and historical heritage of our Region.
Early consignments include The Cor Visser collection, an extensive collection of original paintings from the estate of one of Suffolk’s most celebrated 20th century artists.
Born in Spaarndam near Harlem, Holland in 1903 Cor showed artistic talent from an early age, at 13 he enrolled in a local art school and entered a national competition to design a cover for the Dutch magazine ‘Klei’ all entries were anonymous and it was only after his design had been chosen that he discovered he’d been competing against students twice his age and even some of his own tutors. The following year he joined Haarlem Academy of Art where a fellow pupil and good friend was Maurits Escher, much of his early woodblock work has similarities to Escher’s work. At the age of 16 Visser exhibited his first work and from this exhibition the Rijksmuseum purchased two works. As his reputation grew his obsession with seafaring also grew and in 1925 he started living aboard a small boat, replaced a few years later by a Dutch clipper, and sailed throughout Holland, Belgium and the French coast, his studio onboard. During the 30s he increasingly crossed the channel, spending summer months on the Deben, Orwell and in Ipswich where he exhibited and sold his work, a burgeoning career was interrupted by the war, in 1938 he had staged an exhibition at the well respected Cooling galleries in Bond Street to critical acclaim, the Times described him as a ‘Giant among the pygmies’ . In 1939 he was commissioned by Mrs Pretty to record the excavations taking place on her estate at Sutton Hoo, his portrait of Mrs Pretty still hangs at Sutton Hoo. When war broke out he was standed in England, and when Holland fell he offered his services and was duly appointed Dutch official war artist. He was commissioned to produce portraits of the Dutch Queen, Princess and Prince – then exiled to the UK and also the Dutch Prime minister and other officials, his final war commission to paint the entire Dutch war cabinet in session was never completed although the sketch was purchased by the Rijksmuseum. On the liberation of Holland leaflets bearing Visser’s lithographic portrait of the Queen and a message from her were airdropped over Holland, Cor’s family hadn’t known whether he was still alive until this point when his mother recognised his work! After the war he became firmly rooted in the East Anglian art scene and increasingly became a leading light both as a practitioner and teacher. After his death in 1982 a retrospective exhibition was held in Christchurch Mansion in 1983, the Rijksmuseum drew heavily on his work and correspondence for an exhibition staged in 1980 entitled ‘Wilhemina in London’, his legacy guaranteed, his work is held in many major public and private International collections. when the Cor Visser collection is offered by Reeman Dansie in April it will be the largest collection of his work ever to come to auction and a unique opportunity for local collectors to acquire rarely seen works by this exceptional artist.