Joan Eardley painting of Glasgow street kids goes for record amount

One of the last finished paintings of Glasgow’s street children by the artist Joan Eardley has sold for a record amount.

The Yellow Jumper, which features a “glorious” depiction of children in the now largely demolished neighbourhood of old Townhead in Glasgow, had been put up for auction with an estimate of £100,000 to £150,000.

But when the artwork, one the final pieces completed by Eardley before she died at the age of 42 in 1963, went under the hammer, it sold for £200,200 – an auction record for a work by the artist.

The painting, described as an “outstanding example” of the artist’s work, shows two of the Samson siblings, members of a family of 12 children who lived near her studio and were amongst Eardley’s favourite sitters.

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It is related to Eardley’s Two Children, which was found incomplete on the artist’s easel on her death and now hangs in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

The Yellow Jumper and six other pieces by Eardley were all included in auctioneer Lyon & Turnbull’s biannual Scottish paintings and sculpture sale in Edinburgh – resulting in sales totalling more than £1.3 million.

Speaking afterwards, Alice Strang, senior specialist at Lyon & Turnbull, said: “Scottish women artists triumphed in this exciting sale, with a record-breaking price achieved for Joan Eardley’s The Yellow Jumper.”

She added: “In addition, Anne Gibson Nasmyth, Bessie MacNicol and Anne Redpath also attracted fierce bidding, showing their importance in art history and in the art market.

“The Scottish colourists JD Fergusson and SJ Peploe performed particularly well and we are thrilled with the overall results.”