East Coast beach scenes by artist William Burns to be auctioned on Friday

A spectacular studio collection of the work of William Burns – the Yorkshire architect who turned his back on the profession to paint at the seaside – is to go under the hammer on Friday.

Bright Day in Bridlington by William Burns.
Bright Day in Bridlington by William Burns.

Burns said painting was ‘his first love’ and he absolutely adored the beaches of the Yorkshire Coast including, returning time after time to capture holidaymakers paddling in the sea.

Ten of the 22 Burns paintings going under the hammer in the Summer Art Sale at the David Duggleby Salerooms in Scarborough are Yorkshire beach scenes and provide what are expected to be the stars of the collection.

Those include ‘Bright Day’, a view of a busy Bridlington Beach on a lovely day, ‘Beach Games’, children playing on the sands at Filey, and no fewer than seven Scarborough beach pictures depicting activities ranging from fishing in rock pools and building sandcastles, to folk simply chilling in deckchairs.

Afternoon Ride in Bridlington by William Burns.

Auctioneer David Duggleby said: “Burns was born in Sheffield in 1923 and he studied at the Sheffield College of Art before the outbreak of the Second World War, during which he was involved in illustrating the North Africa Campaign for the official War Diaries.

“However, when he came home he suddenly switched to architecture, went to Sheffield University, and later ran a successful architectural practice.

“It was not until he was in his 50s that gave it up to become a full time artist – confessing that painting had always been ‘his first love’.

“He established a reputation very quickly, becoming generally well known and much admired in the art world. His paintings were exhibited in shows and exhibitions at many well-known galleries in London and around the country.

“His paintings are to be found in collections all over the world.”

Meanwhile, other noteworthy Yorkshire Coast pictures in the sale include two paintings by the Bridlington artist Walter Goodin – ‘Cobles at North Landing Flamborough (estimate £700-£1,000) and ‘Bridlington Sands looking towards the Town and Flamborough’ (estimate £500-£700).

The full auction catalogue and details are available at davidduggleby.com.