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Sir Lawrence Palma-Airport

Yesterday's report on the unconscionable failure of quality control at the Sotherbone Auction House which allowed an incomplete June 2024 Catalogue to be issued to intending customers [who it is generally agreed deserved so much better] has sparked a surprise interest in the painter whose seminal work [Professor Thrupiece Channeling a Classical Strumpet [2002]] - was at the centre of the drama: ie celebrated Dorset artist Sir Lawrence Palma-Airport.

Sir Lawrence Palma-Airport as a young[ish] man

Sir Lawrence, who was born in Peacemarsh and died in Stanton St Gabriel, lived briefly in Bradpole where a plaque in his honour has been erected in his briefly occupied High Street home*. Chiefly known for his exotic [and frequently erotic] semi-biblical scenes, he would routinely recruit local characters to serve as his models. He was scandalously "close" to many of them, taking his personal interest in some of them "to altogether unprecedented levels".

* Sir Lawrence's life was somewhat itinerant in nature - partly as a result of an irresistable urge to keep "on the move" but also a result of his impoverished circumstances which required him to stay one step ahead of the bailifs. One local wag, hearing of the Bradpole plaque, quipped that it would have been better to put it on the side of the Magistrates Court where he spent much of his time and certainly more than he did at any of his intended residences. His biographer also suggests that his peripatetic life-style was strongly influenced by the need to avoid the angry husbands of his serial muses with whom he was not slow to enjoy his fair share of après pose. See A Gowst-Ryter [2012] "Touching the Muse: The Colourful Life of SIr Lawrence Palma-Airport" [Threadbone Art Press]

Professor Thrupiece Channeling Cleopatra [before Anthony's entry] [1999]

Though Palma-Airport's reputation had fallen somewhat by the time of his death and though interest in his work suffered in its aftermath, he has remained a niche interest amongst knowledgeable collectors, with examples of his work sustaining and sometimes even increasing their value. A recent revival of his fortunes has seen prices climb and a painting like Professor Thrupiece Channeling a Classical Strumpet can now expect to command a premium price.

Our Art Correspondent Oylon Kanvass writes:

Professor Thrupiece Channeling a Classical Strumpet is one of a series of large scale Palma-Airport pieces which feature Professor Thrupiece as their central character. Being artists with similar tendencies theirs was a lifelong association and though there is no suggestion that their relationship was ever inappropriate the two posed for each other over an extended period of time. At least three other Palma-Airport Thrupieces are known to exist in the hands of an anonymous private collector [see below]. They are siad to have been acquired during a "fire sale" of the artist's belongings in 2004 and have never been displayed publicly.

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