Painting of Glasgow street children by Joan Eardley sells for over £200k at ‘record-breaking’ auction

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A painting of Glasgow street children by Anglo-Scottish artist Joan Eardley has sold for a record £200,200 at auction.

The Yellow Jumper, which had been estimated by art experts at between £100,000 and £150,000, went under the hammer live online with fine art auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on Thursday night.

The auction was part of the Scottish Paintings and Sculpture sale, which totalled more than £1.3m.

The final price, which has been described as “record-breaking”, demonstrates the continued growth in recognition for Eardley’s work in the world of art history.

The Yellow Jumper was one of Eardley's final works.Lyon & Turnbull/Julie Howden

The artist, who died at the age of just 42 in August 1963, focussed on depictions of children in the now largely demolished neighbourhood of old Townhead in Glasgow city centre.

The Yellow Jumper is one of Eardley’s final works and features two children positioned in front of a bright-red graffiti-covered wall, which was inspired by the exterior of the scrap-metal business beneath Eardley’s studio.

The subjects are the Samson siblings, members of a family of 12 children who lived near her studio. They were known to be amongst Eardley’s favourite sitters.

Ann Samson, who appears in many of Eardley’s paintings, said: “It looks like it could be my sister Mary and our youngest brother Brian.”

The Yellow Jumper is also related to Eardley’s Two Children, found incomplete on the artist’s easel upon her death. This work now hangs in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

Alice Strang, senior specialist at Lyon & Turnbull said: “Scottish women artists triumphed in this exciting sale, with a record-breaking price achieved for Joan Eardley’s The Yellow Jumper.

“In addition, Anne Gibson Nasmyth, Bessie MacNicol and Anne Redpath also attracted fierce bidding, showing their importance in art history and in the art market. The Scottish Colourists J. D. Fergusson and S. J. Peploe performed particularly well and we are thrilled with the overall results.”

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