Painting at auction reveals Chiswick connection to Vorticist sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Images above: Henri Gaudier-Brzeska self portrait; painting of Maria Carmi sculpture

Patrons lived in Chiswick Mall

French Vorticist sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska came to London in 1910 to work as an artist and very quickly made friends in a very wealthy and well-connected circle which overlapped with the Bloomsbury Group.

His studio was in Fulham but he had wealthy patrons in Chiswick Mall – Mr & Mrs Thomas Leman Hare. Now that a unique painting of his has come up for auction the Head of Pictures at Olympia Auctions, Adrian Biddell, is trying to find out where exactly they lived.

“The painting I am selling is a west London phenomenon” says Adrian, “as it was inspired by a huge theatrical production at Olympia Exhibition Halls, an extravaganza with a cast of 1700 called The Miracle.

“In early 1912 Gaudier was commissioned to make a plaster of the leading lady Maria Carmi, in her role as the Madonna by Mr & Mrs Thomas Leman Hare. They subsequently commissioned Gaudier to paint himself with the plaster in oil, which is the self-portrait I have for sale.”

The portrait shows the artist peering out from behind the sculpture in a mirror, with a large window behind him. Adrian would like to find out which house it is. Thomas Leman Hare was a publisher and collector who in the 1920s became the editor of Apollo magazine.

“We know that it was painted in Leman Hare’s house on Chiswick Mall. The painting has since been passed down through the Leman Hare family, and for the last 40 years has been hanging in a private collection on the banks of the Thames in Kew.”

Image above: Head of Pictures at Olympia Auctions, Adrian Biddell

An artist who died tragically young, who influenced Henry Moore

Gaudier-Brzeska came over to London with Sophie Brzeska, a Polish writer over twice his age whom he had met at the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, and with whom he began an intense relationship.

He made a name for himself very quickly, becoming a leading Vorticist sculptor alongside Jacob Epstein. His supporters included the writer, painter and critic Wyndham Lewis, who co-founded the Vorticist movement. He made a bust of the American poet Ezra Pound, who is credited with giving the Vorticist movement its name.

He influenced the best known British sculptor of the 20th century, Henry Moore, who acknowledged a debt to him. Jacob Epstein also expressed admiration for his work.

Gaudier-Brzeska worked for the Omega workshops, a design enterprise at Fitzroy Square closely associated with the Hogarth Press, founded by Leonard and Virginia Woolf, and the artist and critic Roger Fry.

“Fry was the Kenneth Clark of his generation” says Adrian. “He brought the Post Impressionist exhibition to the Grafton Galleries in W1 – the first time anyone had properly seen Picasso and Matisse.”

Adrian describes Gaudier-Brzeska as “the Rupert Brook or the Wilfred Owen of the early 20th century art world”. Like them he was killed in the First World War tragically young, shot by a single bullet to the head in the trenches in 1915 aged just 24 years old.

His work was saved by Jim Ede and preserved at the Kettle’s Yard gallery in Cambridge.

“He was an extraordinary talent and his death in the trenches was a great loss.”

The painting comes up for auction at Olympia Auctions on 14 June and if you are able to shed any light on which house the Leman Hares lived in at Chiswick Mall, Adrian would love to hear from you.

The painting has come on the market through Joia Shillingford, the daughter of Mrs Leman Hare’s god-daughter Genevieve Shillingford. The pre-sale estimate on the painitng is £15 – 20,000.

Hounslow Council welcomes extension of ULEZ scrappage scheme

Image above: ULEZ scrappage scheme

Scrappage scheme available to thousands more residents and businesses

The Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council, Councillor Katherine Dunne, has welcomed the news that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage scheme.

The Mayor’s Office announced on Thursday (1 June) that thousands more owners of older vehicles would now be eligible for financial help replacing their vehicles, including small business owners and anyone receiving Child Benefit, irrespective of income. The Mayor’s Office says care workers who need support are also ‘to be targeted for help’.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone is to be expanded on 29 August to include the whole of the Greater London area, meaning that thousands of owners of older, more polluting vehicles which are not compliant with the new regulations will have to replace them with vehicles that meet the criteria or face fines of £12.50 per day for driving them in the zone. Chiswick has been part of the zone since October 2021.

READ ALSO: ULEZ to be expanded to whole of London, says Sadiq Khan

READ ALSO: Scramble to get rid of old cars as Chiswick becomes part of ULEZ zone

Image above: Cllr Katherine Dunne; Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Mayor ‘has listened to feedback’ from Londoners

Since it was announced that ULEZ would be expanded there has been a deluge of criticism, arguing that the burden of the cost of replacing older vehicles would fall on the least well off at the worst possible time.

If people could afford a new car, they would have bought a new one already, and faced with the cost of living crisis they are now trying to replace their car to meet the new regulations at a time when they are also struggling to pay increased rents and food prices.

Hounslow Council was among those who asked the Mayor to give people more time and more financial help to make the change. In a recent letter to the Mayor of London, the Council highlighted its support for the ULEZ while requesting a review of the current criteria for the scrappage scheme.

The key points raised included the need to allow more small businesses to meet the eligibility criteria, revise the grace period for drivers who have booked retrofit appointments for their vans, and widen the eligibility criteria for parents and carers.

The Council says their efforts have paid off, as the Mayor of London has expanded the criteria in response. The changes include allowing all Londoners receiving child benefit to apply for the scrappage scheme, no matter their income (previously it was limited to couples earning up to £40,000).

Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees can also now apply, broadening the previous limit of ten staff members.

To accommodate those who have booked retrofit appointments but are unable to complete the work by August 2023, a new three-month grace period has been introduced, and organisations which have ordered compliant vehicles but face delayed delivery until after August 2023 will also benefit from a new six-month grace period.

Mayor Khan said:

“The majority of vehicles in London are already ULEZ compliant and will not have to pay anything. But I completely understand the concerns of people who may not have a compliant vehicle and are worried about how they’ll make the transition.”

Council “delighted” at news

Councillor Katherine Dunne expressed delight at the Mayor’s willingness to listen to the concerns of Londoners regarding the scrappage scheme. She said:

“We warmly welcome the Mayor of London’s decision to expand the ULEZ scrappage scheme today. This significant expansion will mean small businesses and families in Hounslow will now be eligible to apply for thousands of pounds of support to support a change in their vehicle.”

LB Hounslow buying new vehicles so its own fleet will comply with ULEZ requirements

In February LB Hounslow were branded ‘hypocrits’ for wanting exemptions for its own vehicles. Cllr Dunne  wrote to the Mayor in June 2022 to say around a quarter of the Council’s vehicle fleet was not compliant with ULEZ regulations, aking that Transport for London “grants Hounslow and other London Boroughs additional time to upgrade fleets beyond the time that the ULEZ expansion is implemented.”

We asked the Council how they were getting on with making its fleet of 59 vans and 15 minibuses compliant and whether they would make the deadline for the introduction of ULEZ to the whole borough.

Cllr Katherine Dunne, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council and Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment and Transport Strategy, said:

“The majority of the Council’s vehicle fleet is ULEZ compliant already. The Council is currently going through the procurement process to refresh the rest of the vehicle fleet to make them ULEZ compliant. During this period of transition alternative vehicle hires are being sourced until the delivery of the new vehicles, funded via the general fund capital programme and is accounted for within the 23/24 budget.”

READ ALSO: LB Hounslow branded ‘hypocrites’ for wanting ULEZ exemptions for own vehicles

Find out how to apply for the scrappage scheme on Transport for London’s website:

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