£400k price tag proves Cadell is bit of all white

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HE may have left only £808, nine shillings and four pence in his will when he died in 1937, but 74 years later a painting by celebrated Edinburgh artist Francis Cadell is set to fetch a staggering £400,000 at auction.

If The White Room does fetch that sum at Bonhams, Queen Street, on August 31, it will become the second most valuable Cadell painting ever sold.

Painted in or around 1913, The White Room appears to be set in the artist’s studio at 130 George Street, where he was based before moving to 6 Ainslie Place.

Cadell, son of Edinburgh surgeon Francis Cadell snr and wife Mary, was born at 4 Buckingham Terrace, Edinburgh, on April 12, 1883.

With fellow city-born artists Samuel John Peploe and John Duncan Fergusson, and Rothesay-born George Leslie Hunter, he went on to become one of the legendary Scottish Colourists.

Cadell, who never married, lived at 4 Warriston Crescent and in his Who’s Who entry, he listed only two recreations: “bed and billiards”.

He was only 54 when he died of cancer on December 6, 1937, leaving the relatively modest sum.

Three years before painting The White Room, Cadell is said to have returned to Edinburgh from a trip to Venice “with a group of paintings showing a clear grasp of Impressionism and the effects of light on colour. He soon established a niche in Edinburgh, painting portraits, figure subjects and still life that reflected the douce middle-class milieu of the New Town”.

In recent years, the value of his work has soared.

The current world record for a Cadell work is £553,250, the sum paid at Sotheby’s in London last year, for his oil painting Florian’s cafe, Venice.

Before the auction, the painting had been expected to fetch between £150,000 and £250,000.

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