ref: bVr Oct 5-Nov 5 2011 PIANO NOBILE FINE PAINTINGS Cyril Mann (1911-1980) - Open a 'pdf' of this press release - return to Galleries PR Index

Dr Robert Travers

129 Portland Road

London W11 4LW

Tel./Fax. 0207 229 1099



CYRIL MANN (1911-1980)

Pre- and post-war paintings of Paris and London – some shown for the first time since

they were done over 70 years ago – are included in a tribute exhibition, marking the

centenary of the birth of the British painter Cyril Mann (1911-1980).

The artist’s earliest self portrait was painted in 1937, when he was a student in Paris

under Scottish Colourist, J D Ferguson. One year later and also shown for the first time,

is “Pont Neuf”, 1938. Painted two years before the war, this tranquil scene depicts

the Paris Bridge, darkly silhouetted against the sun, as fishermen cast their lines along

the Banks of the Seine. As yet there is no sign of the imminent upheaval that would

soon engulf the city.

“Mann clearly thought a lot of this painting, said Dr Robert Travers, exhibition curator

and director of Piano Nobile Gallery. “He inscribed the reverse of the canvas with the

words ‘My first masterpiece’. Now at long last, the public can see it and judge if he

was right.

Among post-war London paintings is St Paul’s from Moor Lane”, 1948, showing the

iconic dome still surrounded by bombsites, set against an ochre sun in a polluted

yellow sky. In this view, long blotted out by the Barbican development, Mann

captures the city, slowly emerging from the ravages of war and returning to normality.

It was painted on the site of The Heron, London’s latest 39-storey residential tower and

future home of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Piano Nobile traces Mann’s artistic development through six decades, from the 1920s

when, aged 12, he was the youngest boy ever to win a scholarship to the Nottingham

School of Art, until his death on January 7, 1980, aged 68. A graduate of the Royal

Academy Schools (1934-1937), Mann never used a studio and lived most of his life in

a council flat, refusing to join any art movement and rejecting the fashion for


Throughout his career, spanning over half a century, Mann dreamt of ‘revitalizing

figurative art’. Neglected in his lifetime, his paintings are now sought after by

collectors. His work is represented in major private and public collections, including

the Guildhall Museum & Art Gallery and the William Morris Museum, Waltham Forest.

The British Museum department of prints and drawings has five of Mann’s drawings in

its collection.


Piano Nobile Gallery, 129 Portland Road, London W11 4LW October 5 to November 5, 2011

A Tribute Exhibition to Cyril Mann (1911-1980)

Marking the centenary of his birth and

the publication of the folio “St Paul’s from Moor Lane”

With essays by Mark Hudson and Veronica Cecil

(Published by Sylph Editions, £14, through Piano Nobile Gallery)

VAT Registration no. 451 0221 08