Peter Beard - Photographs London Friday, October 25, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Michael Hoppen Gallery, London
    Private Collection, UK, 2004

  • Literature

    Peter Beard, Cologne: Taschen, 2013, pl. 269 (variant)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Anchoring the composition in Beard’s distinctive hand are the words of British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 -1913):

    It seemed sad that, on the one hand, such exquisite creatures should live out their lives, doomed for ages yet to come to hopeless barbarism, while on the other hand, should civilised man ever reach those distant lands and bring moral, intellectual and physical light into the recesses of these virgin forests, we may be sure that he will so disturb the nicely balanced relations of organic and inorganic nature as to cause the disappearance and finally the extinction of these very beings whose wonderful structure and beauty he alone is fitted to appreciate and enjoy
    (The Malay Archipelago, 1855).

    Beard’s appropriation of Wallace’s quote provides the narrative to this poignant work – man’s unique ability to appreciate and inevitably destroy the wonders of the natural world.

    The work offered here has remained in the same collection since it was originally acquired in 2004 and is appearing at auction for the first time.


The Gardeners of Eden

Unique work, comprising gelatin silver print with ink and affixed gelatin silver and chromogenic prints, executed later.
Sheet: 105.5 x 124.5 cm (41 1/2 x 49 in.)
Frame: 136 x 152.2 cm (53 1/2 x 59 7/8 in.)

Signed, dated and extensively annotated in ink on the recto.

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £100,000

Contact Specialist
Genevieve Janvrin
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
Yuka Yamaji
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe

General Enquiries
+44 20 7318 4092


London Auction 25 October 2019