David Bomberg








David Bomberg.

Biography   Gallery

Header Photo: Jerusalem from the Mount
of Olives
(Detail)
Painting, 1925
David Bomberg
© The Estate of David Bomberg

Biography
1 8 9 0  -  1 9 5 7

All images The Estate of David Bomberg.

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Bomberg
Sarah MacDougall
Hardcover, 2017
The Estate of David Bomberg

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DAVID BOMBERG BIOGRAPHY

  • Known as: British artist
  • Born: 1890, Birmingham
  • Died: 1957

    I first became aware of David Bomberg through reading interviews with Frank Auerbach in which he talked about how influential Bomberg had been as a teacher to him. He was a pupil between 1947-50. Leon Kossoff was also a pupil.

    Through Auerbach, in particular, I think, Bomberg has become an icon of modern British art. His name is always mentioned in revered terms and I that is because Auerbach is the godfather of modern British art and when the godfather says someone is an important artist then you know that person must be little short of a god!

    All this recognition now makes it kind of sad to consider that in his own lifetime Bomberg had no success.

    The son of Polish Jewish refugees, he had through poverty earned a living as a model at the Slade School. He came to the attention of J.S. Sargent in 1907. Sargent employed him as an assistant on the Boston Lary pictures Sargent was working on in London. Sargent's help didn't end there. He helped him enter the Slade School as a pupil. Bomberg also attended Walter Sickert's drawing classes at the Central School.

    Early influences on his work included the work of Manet and the Impressionists which he saw in the exhibition in London in 1910. Two years later he discovered Cubism.

    During a brief visit to Paris in 1914, he visited as many museums and galleries as possible to further his art education. This education was halted the following year when he enlisted and endured trench life in World War I. In 1918, the Canadian Army commissioned Sappers at Work (Ottawa). The first version was rejected and he had to repaint it in 1919.

    His work in this period was very much Cubistic in manner but he became more conventional in the 1920s.

    In 1923, the Zionist Office employed him for four years to record the Jewish resettlement in Palestine. Through this employment he became a landscape painter portraying the picturesque Arab villages and the remains of Byzantine churches which displeased his employers who wanted him to portray the settlers' efforts to establish themselves.

    In 1926, he visited the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. George Hodjava and produced a small body of work which showed an exhuberance not always evident in the Jerusalem and Petra subjects where the considerations of patrons had to be considered.

    He returned to London in 1927 and two years later began years of restless travelling - to Spain, Scotland and Russia. He returned to Spain until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and then went back to London where he faced severe money problems.

    In 1941, the Artists Advisory Committe formed on the outbreak of World War II, sent him to paint a huge bomb-store; they rejected his piece when they saw it as he had painted it as if it were on fire. Three years later it blew up!

    During this period, he also painted pictures of London after the Blitz.

    He held a number teaching jobs until 1948. Loved by his students which included Auerbach and Kossoff, he was loathed in equal measure by the staff.

    From 1948 he resumed his peripatetic life. He went to Cyprus and left because of political troubles; in the 1950s he travelled to France. Thereafter, he was back in Spain at Rondo where he tried to start an art school. It was a financial disaster. He returned to England in poor health and died soon after.

    DAVID BOMBERG GALLERY

    A selection of work from the master's career. As an unofficial site, I'm trying to make this as useful as possible for a David Bomberg resource by including as many books, cards, prints and posters as I can. For an artist with a career as long as his it's quite hard so would really appreciate any help. I want to do all the releases in chronological order.

    The pages don't make any money - indeed I have to subsidise them through sales of memorabilia etc.. So I have to find the time around getting money in to do these pages.

    I do think it's important to have a catalogue of all his releases. So if you can help with any details on releases then I will put them here. Any info. on the release, including date and country published, would be very useful. You can e-mail me here ihuppert5@aol.com

    Thanks.


    DAVID BOMBERG

    PLAYERS, c. 1919

    David Bomberg Players

    David Bomberg
    Players, c. 1919
    Pen and ink, wash and pencil, 26.5 x 20cm (10 7/16 x 7 7/8in).
    Sold at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art, 27 Nov 2019, 13:00 GMT, London, Knightsbridge for GBP 2,040.
    Item: More Details @ Bonhams
    The Estate of David Bomberg.

    DAVID BOMBERG

    JERUSALEM FROM THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, 1925

    David Bomberg Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

    David Bomberg
    Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, 1925
    Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 1/8 in. (50.8 x 67.3 cm.).
    Sold at Christie's Modern British & Irish Art Evening Sale, London, 20 June 2016 for GBP 782,500.
    Item: More Details @ Christie's
    The Estate of David Bomberg.
    David Bomberg Books @ amazon.co.uk (direct link to books)
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    DAVID BOMBERG

    THE RIVER TAJO AND THE ROAD UP TO THE CITY, TOLEDO, 1929

    David Bomberg The River Tajo and the Road up to the City, Toledo

    David Bomberg
    The River Tajo and the Road up to the City, Toledo, 1929
    Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm.).
    Sold at Christie's Modern British & Irish Art Day Sale, London, 21 June 2016 for GBP 236,500.
    Item: More Details @ Christie's
    The Estate of David Bomberg.
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    DAVID BOMBERG

    THE RIVER TAJO, TOLEDO 1929

    David Bomberg The River Tajo, Toledo

    David Bomberg
    The River Tajo, Toledo, 1929
    Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in. (51 x 40.5 cm.)
    Sold at Christie's Modern British Art Day Sale, London, 22 January 2020 for GBP 200,000.
    Item: More Details @ Christie's
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    DAVID BOMBERG

    TOLEDO FROM THE ALCAZAR, 1929

    David Bomberg Toledo from the Alcazar

    David Bomberg
    Toledo from the Alcazar, 1929
    Oil on canvas, 26 x 30 in. (67.3 x 76.2 cm.).
    Sold at Christie's 20th Century British Art, London, 10 June 2005 for GBP 640,800.
    Item: More Details @ Christie's
    The Estate of David Bomberg.
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    DAVID BOMBERG

    WOMAN IN SUNLIGHT, LILIAN, 1931

    David Bomberg Woman in Sunlight, Lilian

    David Bomberg
    Woman in Sunlight, Lilian, 1931
    Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in. (76.1 x 63.4 cm.).
    Sold at Christie's Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale, London, London, 26 June 2015 for GBP 32,500.
    Item: More Details @ Christie's
    The Estate of David Bomberg.
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    DAVID BOMBERG

    THE SLOPES OF NAVAO, PICOS DE EUROPA, 1935

    David Bomberg The Slopes of Navao, Picos de Europa

    David Bomberg
    The Slopes of Navao, Picos de Europa, 1935
    Oil on canvas, 33 x 41 in. (85.7 x 104.7 cm.).
    Sold at Christie's Modern British & Irish Art Evening Sale, London, 25 June 2014 for GBP 146,500.
    Item: More Details @ Christie's
    The Estate of David Bomberg.
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    DAVID BOMBERG

    THE GREAT ROCK, RONDA, SPAIN, 1935

    David Bomberg The Great Rock, Ronda, Spain

    David Bomberg
    The Great Rock, Ronda, Spain, 1935
    Charcoal, 46.4 x 57.2 cm. (18 1/4 x 22 1/2 in.)
    Sold at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art, 22 Nov 2017, 15:00 GMT, London, New Bond Street for GBP 20,000.
    Item: More Details @ Bonhams
    The Estate of David Bomberg.
    David Bomberg Books @ amazon.co.uk (direct link to books)
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    DAVID BOMBERG

    THE MOOR'S BRIDGE, RONDA, 1935

    David Bomberg The Moor's Bridge, Ronda

    David Bomberg
    The Moor's Bridge, Ronda, 1935
    Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 in. (50.4 x 66 cm.)
    Sold at Christie's Modern British Art Day Sale, London, 20 June 2018 for GBP 85,000.
    Item: More Details @ Christie's
    The Estate of David Bomberg.
    David Bomberg Books @ amazon.co.uk (direct link to books)
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    DAVID BOMBERG

    BOMB STORE, 1942

    David Bomberg Bomb Store

    David Bomberg
    Bomb Store, 1942
    Chalk, 19.5 x 22cm (7 11/16 x 8 11/16in).
    Sold at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art, 27 Nov 2019, 13:00 GMT, London, Knightsbridge for GBP 1,785.
    Item: More Details @ Bonhams
    The Estate of David Bomberg.
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    DAVID BOMBERG

    INTERIOR, WESTMINSTER ABBEY, 1946

    David Bomberg Interior, Westminster Abbey

    David Bomberg
    Interior, Westminster Abbey, 1946
    Charcoal, 62 x 47.5cm (24 7/16 x 18 11/16in).
    Sold at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art, 10 Jul 2018, 13:00 BST London, Knightsbridge for GBP 5,625.
    Item: More Details @ Bonhams
    The Estate of David Bomberg.
    David Bomberg Books @ amazon.co.uk (direct link to books)
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    DAVID BOMBERG

    CORNFLOWERS AND DELPHINIUMS, 1946

    David Bomberg Cornflowers and Delphiniums

    David Bomberg
    Cornflowers and Delphiniums, 1946
    Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 77.4 cm.).
    Sold at Christie's 20th Century British & Irish Art Evening Sale, London, 23 May 2012 for GBP 109,250.
    Item: More Details @ Christie's
    The Estate of David Bomberg.
    David Bomberg Books @ amazon.co.uk (direct link to books)
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    DAVID BOMBERG

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