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Grosvenor Gallery exhibition for artist Victor Newsome

Artist whose paintings sell for thousands of pounds died earlier this month

27 July, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Victor Newsome 

A MAYFAIR gallery is staging a commemorative exhibition later this year for an award-winning painter who died earlier this month.

The Grosvenor Gallery is celebrating Victor Newsome with the display where more than works will be on sale.

He died on July 6 and his funeral took place on Wednesday at Golders Green Crematorium.

Conor Macklin from the gallery said: “Victor’s works sell from £700 to several thousand pounds. There will be an overview of his body of works from the early 1960s with his bathroom series of women in baths, then his geo- metrical works from the 1970s which include some sculptures, and then the 1980s when he became preoccupied with Christ and the Virgin Mary.”

Mr Newsome, who was 83, was born in Leeds and studied art there before moving to Rome to study at the British School on a scholarship. In Italy, he met his wife Cristina Bertoni, a sculptor with whom he had a daughter, Susanna, and a son, Joseph, who lives in Florence. They separated after five years of marriage.

“The last of his art works are probably the most interesting,” said his daughter, “they express the depth of the human soul through religious subjects”.She added: “Victor celebrated life by devoting himself to creating art, loving pleasures, investigating religious essentiality and always maintaining a  vision which descended into depths of forms and concepts. He has toasted life.”

When he came back to the UK Mr Newsome’s career as an artist and art teacher took off. For several years the Royal Academy exhibited his works, and his paintings can be seen in the Tate, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Library.

Mr Newsome’s work has also been displayed at Grosvenor Gallery, where in 2012 they exhibited his full-face portraits of the Virgin Mary and Jesus.

He was well known among regulars in pubs in north London where he would sit and debate art and religion, or sit with a pint of beer drawing sketches.

Paul Davies, a landlord who often served him at the Richard Steele in Belsize Park, described him as “sharp and funny”, adding: “Victor was good company. He was quiet and a bit of a lone wolf, but he knew a lot of people and knew everybody in all the pubs.

“He had a wealth of knowledge about art and he would sometimes come in with people from the art world,” said Mr Davies.

“He was a lunchtime drinker but he was a man who liked to study drink not someone who would overindulge. He wasn’t a Francis Bacon type. He would not have two bottles of wine before lunch. He worked his schedule for work and then he had his down time.”

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