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Dance of the Blessed Spirits - study for a mural, circa 1960
Unmounted (ref: 5547)
Pen and ink and wash, squared
7 1/2 x 26 in. (19 x 66 cm.)
Provenance: Eleanor Christie-Chatterley
This design was painted on the lid of a virginals for the music teacher at Park Modern school (afterwards Barking Abbey)
Fyffe Christie was a painter, draughtsman, muralist and teacher, born in Bushey, Hertfordshire, the son of a commercial artist and illustrator, George Christie. From the age of 12 Christie lived in Glasgow, from 1934 working in a solicitor's office, then became an apprentice lithographic draughtsman and during World War II served in the Scottish Rifles, resulting work finding its way into the Imperial War Museum. Christie studied at Glasgow School of Art, 1946-50, mural painting under Walter Pritchard. He gained the Newberry Medal in 1950 and a post-diploma year's study. After a period teaching and a six-month travelling scholarship taken on the continent Christie resumed teaching and completed many murals, including Glasgow University and the Iona Community House. With his wife Eleanor, a sculptor, he moved to London in 1957 and again taught, while completing murals and much other work. Christie and his wife held a show at Woodlands Gallery in 1979, shortly before he died. This showed him to be a painter with a rich palette, notable for his female nude studies, as well as a consummate draughtsman. His widow did much to promote Christie's work after his death. There were exhibitions at Cyril Gerber Fine Art, Glasgow, and Fairhurst Gallery in 1988, preceded by a show of his drawings at Glasgow School of Art. He was included in Children & Childhood at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh, in 1989; there was a large show of his schoolchildren drawings at the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, 1991; and further small exhibitions at Blackheath Concert Halls and in Norwich. In 2004, there was an exhibition at Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire, accompanied by a monograph, Nature and Humanity, The Work of Fyffe Christie 1918-1979, published by Sansom & Company Ltd.
We are grateful to Eleanor Christie-Chatterley for assistance.