A PAINTING by a jazz icon is set to go on sale in York this week.

The picture, called ‘White and Naked’, was painted by the great American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis and is expected to make between £8,000-£12,000 when it goes under the hammer in a Fine Art Auction at the York Auction Centre on Friday, May 10.

It was one of many pieces owned by Davis’s artist girlfriend Jo Gelbard who, fearing that she was hoarding art in her flat that should be widely seen, decided to let some of the pictures go. This painting has since been shown in exhibitions around the world, including Paris, London, and New York.


Whilst famous for his incredible music career, Miles Davis, also known as the ‘Picasso of Jazz’, was also a talented artist.

Coralie Thomson, a member of auctioneer Duggleby Stephenson’s art team, said: “Davis enjoyed drawing throughout his life but it only became a serious interest after he suffered a minor stroke in 1982 when he was in his mid-50s.

“Unable to perform and with doctors advising that holding a pencil would help recuperation from a frozen hand, he began sketching - with a passion.”

York Press: White and Naked by Miles DavisWhite and Naked by Miles Davis (Image: Duggleby Stephenson Auctioneers)

She continued: “The art of Miles Davis is complex: Bold, colourful, geometric, abstract and expressionist.

“He acknowledged numerous influences, notably that of the Russian pioneer of abstraction Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Picasso (1881-1973) and the American street art meteor Jean Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) – as well as traditional African art.

“Given that Miles Davis’s painting period was so brief, less than 10 years, it is not surprising that original works rarely come up for auction, particularly in this country, so we were delighted to be asked to sell this important picture’.”

York Press: One of the books that White and Naked by Miles Davis is showcased inOne of the books that White and Naked by Miles Davis is showcased in (Image: Duggleby Stephenson Auctioneers)

White and Naked has also featured in the New York gallery director Scott Gutterman’s acclaimed 1991 book ‘The Art of Miles Davis’, a 2010 Davis Retrospective exhibition in London, and was previously pride of place in the music room of an English trumpet player until his recent death.

The sale catalogue is available on the firm’s website; viewing is taking place throughout the week ahead of the sale and other pieces up for auction include art deco furniture, jewellery, and watches.