“Travel”. Philip Green. Graphite and gouache. c 600mm x 600mm. 1928.
“Travel” was commissioned by W.J. Bassett-Lowke from artist Philip Green and was delivered to him in May 1928.
The painting depicts various forms of travel, shipping, aeroplanes, trains and racing cars and is in a style considered modern for the 1920s – known now as ‘deco’ or ‘Art Deco’. The subjects were key interests for Bassett-Lowke and formed the basis of his model engineering business founded in Northampton in 1899. A lifelong patron of artists and designers both in a business context but also for personal enjoyment; this work revisits themes seen in other Bassett-Lowke commissions, for example the Christmas card designed for him in 1922 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh featuring ships and trains. The modern aesthetic of the painting is in keeping with that of his second home ‘New Ways’ designed by Peter Behrens in 1925-26.
“Travel” was inherited by Janet Bassett-Lowke, niece of W.J. after his death in 1953. It was used as the cover image for a biography of W.J. written by Janet in 1999 and is also illustrated on p.133 of the book [ 1 ] . The painting was loaned for display at 78 Derngate between 2003 and 2008 and was then returned to the family.
In June 2019 the work was featured on the BBC’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’ where it was valued by expert Chris Yeo at six to eight hundred pounds or more. [ 2 ].
1. “W.J Bassett-Lowke”. Janet Bassett-Lowke. Pub: Rail Romances. 1999. ISBN: 1900622017.
2. ‘Antiques Roadshow’. BBC Studios. Series 41, episode 20 [ ‘MediaCityUK2’ ]. First broadcast 2/6/19. Featured item appears at 47:57.