A previously unseen painting created by British artist Graham Sutherland more than 40 years ago for the James Bond short story The Living Daylights will be shown to the public for the first time beginning tomorrow.
The painting will be shown along with an extensive collection of other James Bond-related material at the ‘Bond Bound: Ian Fleming & The Art of Cover Design’ exhibition, which opens tomorrow at the Fleming Collection art gallery in central London.
The Times reports that Fleming commissioned Sutherland to create the work in the early 1960s so that it could accompany the debut of his 007 short story The Living Daylights in February 1962.
The pink, green and blue work, depicting an arrow piercing a heart, has not been seen since it was completed 46 years ago to accompany the story in the first edition of The Sunday Times Magazine.
As many fans are well aware, the story was later included into the 1966 Octopussy and The Living Daylights collection.
Fleming, who had been foreign manager of The Sunday Times during the 1950s, was asked to write the 007 story for the new colour magazine.
‘He still was the paper’s most bankable asset although he had by then left the staff,’ said Fleming biographer Andrew Lycett.
Fleming commissioned Sutherland to create the piece in September 1961 after striking a friendship with the artist earlier that year during a summer holiday in Provence.
Sutherland was offered 100 guineas (£105) for his work, well below his usual rate. The resulting Bond artwork did not strike a chord with The Sunday Times founding editor Mark Boxer.
Boxer ultimately rejected the artwork, stating that it lacked the necessary sophistication to accompany the article. Fleming was also upset and tried to persuade Sutherland to have another try–unsucessfully.
Click here for more information on the ‘Bond Bound: Ian Fleming & The Art of Cover Design’ exhibition.
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