Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
Heritage is in the process of relocating its world headquarters to a new Dallas area location, which will be announced soon. Please call 214-528-3500 to confirm all Heritage appointments, events or deliveries in Dallas, as our departments and staff are moving at different times from separate locations.
IMPORTANT: In-person floor bidding is temporarily suspended and our offices are closed, except for scheduled appointments. See details including all options for bidding remotely.


    Bror Utter (American, 1913-1993)
    Siena Duomo, Italy, 1956
    Watercolor on paper
    18-1/2 x 26-3/8 inches (47.0 x 67.0 cm) (sheet)
    Signed and dated lower right: 7/56 / Bror Utter

    The artist:
    The Estate of William Ernest Chilton

    Bror Utter painted Sienna Duomo in 1956. He probably composed it from the sketches he made while visiting Italy a few years before. The subject is the perfect vehicle for some Utter's favorite styles and themes. He was always fascinated with the arches, niches, and inventive architecture of the Italian Renaissance. In this watercolor Utter uses a distorted grid structure to create mismatching planes throughout the composition. This kind of abstraction is almost always present in his skies and is only enhanced by the unusual linear quality of the striped building. The painting's precariously harmonized and eccentric colors are hallmarks of his signature style. All of these elements combine in Sienna Duomo to create the surreal quality, brooding mood, and sense of timelessness that characterize his work reputation as a brilliant watercolorist.

    Utter was a leading member of a group of modernists called the Fort Worth Circle, who dominated the avant-garde art scene in the 1930s and 1940s and remained popular throughout his career. According to one newspaper clipping, "two things chiefly distinguish Utter's work. One is his sophisticated way with color and texture. The other is his ability to discover extraordinary things in ordinary forms and express his discoveries with grace and wit." This offering of works by Utter in this sale shows the range of his endeavors from the early 1940s the mid-1960s. Despite the differences between these paintings, they are still distinctly recognizable as his work.

    Utter was born in Fort Worth and studied under Sallie Gillespie as a teenager. While working in his father's lithograph plant in the 1930s, he studied under Wade Jolly at the Fort Worth School of Fine Arts. In 1940, he attended the Colorado Fine Arts Center. Utter taught at numerous Fort Worth institutions, including the Fort Worth Art Center and Texas Wesleyan College, while also working as a full-time painter. Bror Utter's paintings have been extensively exhibited in the United States at institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Art and is represented in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art; the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; and the Denver Art Museum.

    Condition Report*: There appears to be moderate mat burn along extreme edges as well as a few bumps; light overall discoloration, however, work was recently cleaned.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2016
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 828

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 26 Texas Art Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I am not only a happy first-time consignor, I will be returning! Thank you for the wonderful experience.
    John Paul R.,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search