Simon BUSSY (Dole 1870 - London 1954)
Five Studies of Orchids and other Flowers
Each pastel, over an underdrawing in pencil, on paper laid down on board.
Three of the drawings inscribed Coelogyne Himalaya [a], Lycaste Guatemala [c] and Aristalochia / Brasil [d] in pencil.
a. 252 x 210 mm. (9 7/8 x 8 1/4 in.)
b. 182 x 135 mm. (7 1/8 x 5 1/4 in.)
c. 173 x 186 mm. (6 3/4 x 7 3/8 in.)
d. 191 x 254 mm. (7 1/2 x 10 in.)
e. 254 x 209 mm. (10 x 8 1/4 in.)
Overall with backing board: 505 x 593 mm. (19 7/8 x 23 3/8 in.)
The present group of five drawings are typical examples of Simon Bussy’s refined, delicate pastel technique. His pastel studies are usually depicted against a toned background of one muted colour, with a reserve of white paper left untouched around the edges of the composition. As the contemporary scholar François Fosca noted, in one of the first monographs to be published on the artist, ‘Simon Bussy developed a new style: with minute precision he applied a vaporous and blurred technique to drawing. In his work, there was never any hatching or vertical marks which would reduce the effect of the layer underneath, or make it stand out. Bussy developed a soft, velvety medium which always avoided becoming cloying or limp.’
These five drawings of flowers were at one time part of the extensive collection of over three hundred paintings and pastels by Simon Bussy, inherited by the politician John Strachey (1901-1963), which were dispersed at auction in 1964 and 1965.
The studio of the artist
By descent to his nephew John Strachey, London
Possibly his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 9 December 1965 [lot untraced]
Robin McDouall, until 1985
Bequeathed by him to a private collection, London.