Art News

Bonhams to Sell Painting Owned by Oscar Wilde’s Friend

LONDON.- A landscape painting by Herman Saftleven once owned by one of Oscar Wilde’s closest friends is expected to fetch £15,000-20,000 when it is auctioned at the Old Master Paintings sale on Wednesday 7th July at Bonhams, New Bond Street. It is being sold to fund a chair in Demography at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The painting depicts a mountainous river landscape with figures loading barges, and comes from the Collection of Carlos Blacker (1859-1928), an Englishman who spent a great deal of his life abroad, especially in Paris. He was a constant friend to Oscar Wilde, with whom he frequently corresponded, and also acted as an intermediary between Wilde and his wife, Constance, after the former’s release from prison in 1897. Blacker took a financial interest in Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Happy Prince was dedicated to him.