Multi-talented actress and artist Jean Shepeard’s collection offered at auction01 November 2021 The collection of British artist and actress Jean Shepeard (1904-1989) is coming to auction this month.
The works have come from the estate of her niece, the sculptor Doreen Kern (1931-2021) and includes over 600 original sketches which will be offered as 35 lots in a dedicated online only auction held by Batemans on November 6.
In her early days, Shepeard trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art sharing a flat with Peggy Ashcroft. Although she had a successful stage career (appearing in productions alongside John Gielgud, Anthony Quayle and Sybil Thorndike as well the 1942 film Thunder Rock with Michael Redgrave and James Mason), she was also a talented artist.
She became a fringe member of the Bloomsbury set, exhibiting with Vanessa Bell at the Modern Picture Library. She also showed her works with Francis Bacon and Roi de Mestre at Bacon's Queensbury Mews rooms in 1930 – the only woman to ever exhibit with Bacon.
Among the works on offer is a pencil portrait of Jean Shepeard by Ronald Ossory Dunlop (1894-1973), pictured above. As well as being lovers, Dunlop supported her to paint and exhibited alongside her at the Modern Picture Library.
The 7.5 x 4.5in x (20 x 12cm) drawing is estimated at £200-300.
Elsewhere in the sale, a group of Shepeard’s sketches of Dunlop as well as original photographs of the Irish artist and a copy of his autobiography with a handwritten dedication to Shepeard are featured. They will be offered together as single lot with a £300-500 estimate.
Another lot in the auction is an archive of Shepeard’s letters and photographs, containing, among many other things, two still photographs of Bacon’s 1930s Kings Road flat which is estimated at £200-300. A rare photograph of Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World author, without his spectacles is also included in the lot.
A sketchbook containing previously unseen ‘possible’ charcoal portrait of Francis Bacon is also pitched at the same level at the Batemans sale.
Among the portraits of fellow actors at the sale is this charcoal portrait of Sir Alec Guinness (1914-2000) which is estimated at £100-200.
View the full catalogue for the Jean Shepeard collection of artworks on thesaleroom.com.