Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Jewellery and Fine Wine

Live Virtual Auction, 8 - 11 November 2020

The Tasso Foundation Collection

Sold for

ZAR 455 200
Lot 412
  • Robert Hodgins; Raconteur: As I Said to Winnie at Yalta ...
  • Robert Hodgins; Raconteur: As I Said to Winnie at Yalta ...
  • Robert Hodgins; Raconteur: As I Said to Winnie at Yalta ...
  • Robert Hodgins; Raconteur: As I Said to Winnie at Yalta ...

Lot Estimate
ZAR 350 000 - 450 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 455 200

About this Item

South African 1920-2010
Raconteur: As I Said to Winnie at Yalta ...

signed, dated 2007 and inscribed with the artist's name, title and the medium on the reverse

oil on canvas
60 by 49cm excluding frame; 63 by 52 by 5,5cm including frame


Throughout his later years Robert Hodgins returned to the subject of smartly dressed men occupying non-descript interior settings. The present lot forms part of that loose assembly of paintings in which Hodgins used the portrait genre to engage as much as lampoon aspects of elite power. Hodgins’ criticisms are often implied in his titles, rather than overtly manifest in the subject of his frontal and side-profile studies of executives, generals and the ostensibly privileged. ‘My paintings find the words; the words don’t find my paintings,’ Hodgins said in 2007. ‘I very rarely start off painting with any sort of idea at all.’1 The tongue-in-cheek title to the present lot refers to the Yalta Conference in 1945 when Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin met to discuss the post-war re-organisation of Europe. The title invokes one of Churchill’s nicknames: Winnie. The identity of the subject is unclear. Of the troika of FDR, Churchill and Stalin, the American president certainly cut a sartorial figure compared to his English and Russian compatriots, who preferred greatcoats and military uniforms. The jocular tone and camaraderie of the nickname belies the underlying tensions and hidden agendas between these leaders at the end of World War II and on the eve of the Cold War. 

1.  Sean O’Toole (2007), unpublished interview with the artist, Pretoria, November 2007.


Strauss & Co, Cape Town, 12 October 2015, lot 578.

The Tasso Foundation Collection of Important South African Art assembled by the Late Giulio Bertrand of Morgenster Estate.

View all Robert Hodgins lots for sale in this auction

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