Painting by Ronnie Kray from inside a mental hospital set to fetch £1,500 at auction

April 24, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

This child-like painting etched by the notorious gangster Ronnie Kray while he was in a mental hospital is expected to fetch £1,500 at auction.

After a lifetime of brushes with the law, Kray turned his hand to painting during his incarceration at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.

The crudely drawn painting, depicting a brown cottage next to a stream is signed R.Kray in capital letters at the bottom of the A4 picture.

This child-like painting etched by the notorious gangster Ronnie Kray while he was in a mental hospital is expected to fetch £1,500 at auction

This child-like painting etched by the notorious gangster Ronnie Kray while he was in a mental hospital is expected to fetch £1,500 at auction

Will Farmer, Director of Fieldings Auctioneers which is handling the sale, said: “These pieces come up very rarely, but when they do they generate an enormous amount of interest.

“There is a huge market for criminal history, so I think this will be a popular item.

“Ronnie served his whole life sentence at Broadmoor Hospital, and I think this image of a pastoral idyll expresses his yearning to be free.

“Artwork would have been a form of therapy for him, it was encouraged for him to exercise his creativity.

“You can see the huge R.Kray in the corner which is him showing he’s still the big man.”

Ronnie painted this picture in 1970 aged 37 and it was one of his earliest works.

He gave it to his lifelong friend Nevio Pellicci as a gift.

It has emerged from an archive of letters and paintings given to Pellicci and his family by Ronnie and his twin brother Reggie.

Pellicci, who ran an Italian coffee bar in Bethnal Green, where the Krays grew up, said: “They were children when I started serving them.

“They were very respectful, charming.

“If my mother was behind the counter and someone swore, they would ask them to show respect.”

The Krays rose to infamy in the 1950’s and 60’s with their gang The Firm which terrorised the East End of London.

They were convicted of murder and both jailed for life in 1969.

Ronnie spent his entire sentence in Broadmoor until he died in March, 1995. His brother Reggie died in October, 2000.

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