BALLET DANCERS

Ballet Dancers
Ballet Dancers Ballet Dancers Ballet Dancers

BALLET DANCERS

Gouache
Signed and dated '40
32.50 x 23.00cm (12.80 x 9.06 inches)
Stock Code: 1184
SOLD

Lee-Elliott was born as David Lee Theyre Elliott in Lewes, Sussex. After Winchester he read Theology at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was high-jump champion, played lawn tennis for the University and table tennis for England. After Cambridge he moved to London and attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts (1925-27) before going on to the Slade School of Art.

He was a noted graphic designer, particularly of posters for such companies as Imperial Airways, Southern Railways and the General Post Office. For Imperial Airways he designed the Speedbird logo in 1932 and they continued to use the emblem, throughout it’s reforming as BOAC and eventually as British Airways, until 1985. For the General Post Office he famously designed the Airmail Wings.

Before the war Lee-Elliott became involved painting the scenery and backdrops at Sadler’s Wells, painting the dancers in his spare time and in 1937 held his first exhibition at Sadlers Wells Theatre in aid of the Ballet Benevolent Fund. It was followed by similar exhibitions in San Francisco and Hollywood. In 1947 he published Paintings of the Ballet. He had several one-man exhibitions both abroad and in London at the Redfern Gallery and Thackery Gallery. After a serious illness in the mid fifties he painted a series of powerfully Expressionist religious pictures and in 1965 he was chosen to contribute three works to the British section at Musee de’Art Modern, Paris, International Exhibition of Religious Art. In later life he became a recluse, living his last years in Sloane Avenue, Chelsea. After his death a retrospective exhibition was held at the Chelsea Arts Club.

His gouache of Alan Carter as Harlequin in Frederick Ashton’s Ballet Harlequin in the Street is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and Crucified Tree Form – the Agony (1959) is in the collection of Oxford, Brookes University.

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