HOME              ABOUT            ARTISTS         EXHIBITIONS                    CONTACT             TERMS & CONDITIONS




(PIC) Charles S Higgins (1893 – 1980)


“La Confession au Punchinello”

Oil Painting.  Signed “PIC”

4 7/8” x 6 ¼” (123mm x 158mm). 

Overall framed size 8 7/8” x 10 ¼”  (227mm x 260mm)

Provenance:  Originally exhibited at Alex Reed & Lefevre Limited, St James’s London

Framed in original Robert Sielle frame

Bears original labels                                                                                                                                     IMAGE



Reliquaires” (Aug. 1948)

Oil Painting on Canvas.   Signed “PIC”

21” x 17” (533mm x 430mm). 

Overall framed size 24 1/8” x 28 1/8” (614mm x 714mm)

Provenance:  Originally exhibited Gimpel Fils, London No. 5588 – their label on reverse

Also titled and dated 1948 on the stretcher                                                                                              IMAGE



“Apotheosis of a Tenore Robusto”

Oil Painting on Canvas over board

Signed, titled and dated 1946 in pencil on reverse

7 ½” x 10 ½” (190mm x 270mm)

Overall framed size 16 1/8” x 19 3/8” (410mm x 492mm)                                                                       IMAGE                      IMAGE                                             



Writer and painter Charles Higgins painted under the pseudonym of PIC and created some of the most extraordinary and enigmatic British paintings of the 20th century.  Setting mythological and fantastical imagery within imagined landscapes, PIC’s work transports the viewer through time and imagination, demonstrating the same visionary zeal as figures such as Marc Chagall, Cecil Collins and Leonora Carrington.   He was also an author who wrote under the name of Iain Dall.  He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1893  to Scottish parents and spent his early years there but when he was seven he was sent to boarding school.  When his family returned to the UK they settled in Wimbledon and he went to Malvern School.  He joined Kitchener’s army and served during the Gallipoli Campaign where, in 1919, he was wounded.  He first started to write during his convalescence and went on to write two books of poems and several other works associated with his many travels and experiences, including a book about his childhood titled “Sun before Seven” with a forward by Walter de la Mare and an account of life on the Isle of Barra.  He returned to South America where he worked as a construction engineer.  In the 1920s he relocated to Britain where he devoted his life to painting.  He built a cottage on the Island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides and divided his time between there and his studio in St Johns Wood, London.  In 1927 he married the portrait painter Kate Elisabeth Oliver.  His work was exhibited in some of the most important British galleries of the 20th century, including the Wertheim Gallery during the 1930s and Gimpel Fils during the 1940s and 1950s and Jack Bilbo’s celebrated The Modern Art Gallery in the 1940s.  He also exhibited in London at Centaur, the Reid Gallery and the Alwin Gallery.  His work has been purchased by the Contemporary Art Society, Dartington Hall, the John Hopkins Institute in the USA and by important private collectors and is in the collection of New Walk Museum and Art Gallery (Leicester Arts and Museums Service).


He painted a number of striking portraits which draw you into the soul.  There soon followed a rich vein of imaginative paintings drawn from his unconscious world often depicting people or horses, past and present, and their inner lives in remote landscapes of Morocco, Afghanistan or South America.  Both the titles of the works, which were often in French, and the unique frames made by his friend Robert Siele, formed an integral part of his work.  His subject matter was also complimented by a free technique which might incorporate newspaper print or the knot in the plywood board into the work. 


During the later years his work became progressively smaller, occasionally even as small as a coca cola top!  He called them his “tinies” and consisted of simple glimpses rather than comprehensive works.  They often depict a landscape vision as seen through a human eye and have a nostalgic even lonely quality.