"Three Sisters" by Felix Kelly

Kelly_Felix.jpg
Kelly_Felix.jpg

"Three Sisters" by Felix Kelly

14,000.00

Oil on board painting of Greek revival plantation house by Felix Kelly (New Zealand, 1914-1994) signed and dated 1976. In original giltwood frame. Dimensions unframed: 16.5" x 21.75".  Framed: 23.75" x 28.75". The title is inspired by the Anton Chekhov play.

Felix Kelly was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on February 3rd, 1914. In 1939 he moved to London, where he worked as a graphic artist and designer for Lintas, the advertising wing of Unilever.   During the Second World War Kelly served in the Royal Air Force and was commissioned as a navigating officer, concerned with the delivery of fighters to operational units. In his spare time he began to paint seriously, holding his first one-man exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery in 1943. The same year he received his first important book commission - for Herbert Read's The Green Child. An early enthusiast for Kelly's work, Read introduced him to a number of significant clients and wrote a foreword to ‘Paintings’ by Felix Kelly, (1948). Kelly began to exhibit bi-annually at Partridge Fine Arts in Bond Street; his work was collected by American clients, and he subsequently exhibited in New York and Washington.   Handsome and charming, Kelly was popular socially and spent much of his time like a latter-day Augustus Hare, staying at the grander country houses.   He embellished or redesigned many of these houses for friends and clients. At Castle Howard he designed the Kelly car, a little fairground-style train for conveying visitors round the grounds. His main work though, was the remodelling of Highgrove in Gloucestershire for the Prince of Wales. He refaced the gawky Victorianised facades and gave them new plastered and pedimented frontispieces in the manner of Francis Keck, successfully returning the house to a Georgian character.   Kelly also designed for the stage, including the sets of A day by the Sea at the Haymarket, Lennox Berkeley´s opera Nelson at Sadlers Wells, The Merchant of Venice at the Old Vic and Enid Bagnold's The Last Joke at the Phoenix.   All his paintings were meticulously executed, with precisely realised architecture set against misty landscapes of drooping ivy-swathed trees or craggy peaks.

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