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This Quentin Blake Retrospective Will Remind You to Smile

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This Quentin Blake Retrospective Will Remind You to Smile

178 works from the past 40 years of Quentin Blake’s career....

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Topics: Art / Auction / Christie's /
       

This month, Christie’s presents ‘Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions’, a series of illustrations offered directly from Blake’s personal collection.

     

Take a gander at these heartwarming drawings, on view and open to the public, from 7 to 10 July at Christie’s London.

This Quentin Blake Retrospective Will Remind You to Smile

As part of Christie’s Classic Week, 30 illustrations will appear in Christie’s Valuable Books and Manuscripts auction on 11 July, alongside a dedicated online sale of 148 illustrations open for bidding from 3 to 12 July. The auction and sales will benefit House of Illustration, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and Survival International.

The collection comprises works from the past 40 years of Quentin Blake’s career, showcasing some of the most celebrated literary characters of today and various other projects on which Blake has worked.

Here are a few of the most heartwarming offerings in the sale….

Quentin Blake

© Christie’s Images Limited 2018/ ©Quentin Blake

Sophie and the BFG
An Alternative Version produced for the 2016 Roald Dahl Centenary Portraits project, celebrating 100 years since the author’s birth: Sophie and the BFG are among the famous Roald Dahl characters depicted in a series of ten portraits by Quentin Blake, who explained the project thus: ‘The Roald Dahl Centenary Portraits ask you to imagine that a number of Dahl’s characters have been invited to come and sit for their portrait; they are depicted, not quite as they appear in the illustrations, but more formally … I hope visitors will be happy to see this group of well-known characters treated as though they were real people – which, of course, to many of us they are’.
Watercolour, pencil, watercolour paper, signed. 760 x 565mm. Estimate: GBP 10,000 – GBP 15,000

Quentin Blake

© Christie’s Images Limited 2018/ ©Quentin Blake

The Chef
Alternative Version for ‘Life under the Atlantic’, a series of drawings produced by Quentin Blake in 2016 for the launch of the ‘Atlantic Bar’ at J Sheekey, depicting a cross-section of the staff and patrons.
Pen, ink, watercolour paper, signed. 190 x 285mm. Estimate: GBP 300 – 500

     
Quentin Blake

© Christie’s Images Limited 2018/ ©Quentin Blake

Professor Dupont and the Cockatoos
Cockatoos, written and illustrated by Quentin Blake, sees the hapless Professor Dupont searching throughout for his escaped birds, in a book that employs joyful pictures to help its young readers learn to count and to identify different colours. Here, all ten of his prized cockatoos – who are too clever by half – are hiding in plain sight upon the chandelier.
Alternative Version for page 26 of the 1992 edition of Cockatoos by Quentin Blake. Pen, ink, watercolour, watercolour paper, signed. 380 x 315mm. Estimate: GBP 2,000 – GBP 3,000

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Quentin Blake

© Christie’s Images Limited 2018/ ©Quentin Blake

Kitty-in-Boots, or, Miss Catherine St Quintin
Quentin Blake creates a fabulous protagonist for a long-neglected Beatrix Potter work: The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots. The opening of Potter’s work – written in 1914 and never illustrated by her – introduces us to our heroine (‘Once upon a time there was a serious, well-behaved young black cat’) but all is not as it seems. In fact, Kitty – or Miss Catherine St Quintin, as Kitty herself prefers to be styled – lives a double life, sneaking out at night to go hunting and getting into all sorts of scrapes.
Alternative Version for page 13 of the 2016 edition of The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter. Pen, ink, watercolour, watercolour paper, signed. 285 x 250mm. Estimate: GBP 1,200 – GBP 1,800

Quentin Blake

© Christie’s Images Limited 2018/ ©Quentin Blake

The BFG showing how he flaps his ears
Preliminary drawings showing the genesis of one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved creations, the Big Friendly Giant. Here we see Quentin Blake experiment with the size and movement of the BFG’s ears, upon which he relies for his superhuman hearing abilities.
Preliminary drawings for the 1982 edition of The BFG by Roald Dahl. Pen, ink, watercolour, watercolour paper, signed, 275 x 375mm. Estimate: GBP 2,000 – GBP 3,000

Quentin Blake

© Christie’s Images Limited 2018/ ©Quentin Blake

Charlie, Willie Wonka and Grandpa Joe
An Alternative Version produced for the 2016 Roald Dahl Centenary Portraits project, celebrating 100 years since the author’s birth: Charlie, Willie Wonka, and Grandpa Joe are among the famous Roald Dahl characters depicted in a series of ten portraits by Quentin Blake, who explained the project thus: ‘The Roald Dahl Centenary Portraits ask you to imagine that a number of Dahl’s characters have been invited to come and sit for their portrait; they are depicted, not quite as they appear in the illustrations, but more formally … I hope visitors will be happy to see this group of well-known characters treated as though they were real people – which, of course, to many of us they are’.
Watercolour, pencil, watercolour paper, signed. 760 x 565mm. Estimate: GBP 10,000 – GBP 15,000

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