Harry Barr Collection Features in Mallams’ Upcoming Sale

Harry Barr Collection Features in Mallams’ Upcoming Sale



Featured in Mallams’ 18th October Art & Music Sale, will be ‘The Harry Barr Collection’, consisting of 50 oil and 30 watercolour paintings from his studio.


Harry Barr was born in the East End of London in 1896, the son of Polish and Russian Emigrants

He spent a few years as a young painter in Montmartre working in Sickert's studio.

Teaching life drawing for many years he had many one man exhibitions, including the Kaplan gallery and the Fermoy Gallery in Kings Lynn.

He was mainly known as a landscapist and painted his watercolours 'en plein air'.  He varied his style over the years in terms of technique, colour and subject matter. 

Barr had an eye for the unusual and humorous and consequently saw many human characteristics in the trees that he painted. He was at one time known as the pig painter and was interviewed on radio and for newspapers.  He used to get up close to the pigs, including in their sties and his pig paintings were very popular.  His output also included many drawings, and he spent time in London Zoo drawing the animals, always with a humorous slant. Apart from that, his main output was life drawing, which he also taught.

He was very outgoing and gregarious, and held regular soirees throughout his life, showing his latest works. He was known for his erudite and intellectual conversation and wrote quite a lot of what he called 'aphorisms' and short philosophical tracts.

He extended his artistic skills in designing clothes and materials, manufacturing ladies dresses for many years until he retired in his 60's.  He never ceased to paint, every week, as well as teaching at St Martins in the evening.

He was the first living Western painter to exhibit in Moscow.  It was during the Soviet Era and the Cold War so was very unusual in itself.


For more information please visit the website www.harrybarr.co.uk


Lot 71 - Woodland with anthropomorphic trees, oil on canvas, 71 x 91cm, and three further similar studies (4). Estimate: £200-300.


Lot 79 - Winter gardens, signed, oil on canvas, 76 x 55.5cm. Estimate: £150-250.


Lot 97 - Still life – daffodils in a glass vase, signed, oil on canvas, 75 x 54cm. Estimate: £200-300.


Lot 100 - Let sleeping pigs lie, oil on canvas, 51 x 61cm. Estimate: £100-200.

Lot 122 - ‘Box Hill’, signed, dated June 2-69 and inscribed, ink and watercolour with scratching, 38 x 50cm; and companion (a pair) (2). Estimate: £100-150.

Lot 123 - ‘Epping’, an anthropomorphic woodland study, signed, inscribed and dated 1948, watercolour, 35.5 x 41cm; and three further similar works (4). Estimate: £300-400.

Lot 128 - Cattle grazing in a parkland, signed and dated 1949, ink and watercolour, 35.5 x 41cm (2). Estimate: £100-150.

Lot 139 - Box Hill, signed and dated 17 Nov 69 and inscribed, ink and watercolour with scratching, 38.5 x 49.5cm; and three further similar tree studies (4). Estimate: £300-400.


To find out more about the Harry Barr Collection please email oxford@mallams.co.uk or call the Oxford saleroom on 01865 241358.


All prices are subject to a 30% buyers' premium (VAT inclusive). 


Have you thought about selling at auction?

Request a Valuation

Become a Mallams Insider

Stay up to date with your preferred specialist department and be the first to get notified of any future sales.