Nicholson painting kept a closely-guarded family secret

A painting by a Scottish artist described as a “pivotal” work of modern British art was passed off as a child’s artwork for decades in order to deter thieves.

A closely-guarded family secret, ‘1932 (profile: Venetian red)’ by Ben Nicholson (1894-1982) hung in the living room of an Edinburgh home for 64 years. It was given as a wedding present to Elisabeth and Harold Swan in 1951 by Elisabeth’s father, Jim Ede. A friend of the artist, Ede was a young curator at the Tate Gallery before he went on to create Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge University’s gallery of modern art.  Continue reading