Graham Sutherland

(London, 1903 - 1980)


49 x 63 cm (19 ¹/₄ x 24 ³/₄ inches)
Signed lower right 'Sutherland'

Giorgio Soavi, Milan until 2009
Private Collection, South Africa until 2016

Sutherland made his first visit to the South of France in 1947, where he met both Matisse and Picasso. From then on he spent part of each year there, buying a house at Menton in 1955. This led to a preoccupation with Mediterranean motifs such as vine pergolas and palm palisades, for instance in Large Vine Pergola (1948; Ottawa, National Gallery), and the use of more brilliant colours, including pinks, yellows, and pale blues, to capture the intense glow of the southern light. He found inspiration in the gnarled forms of olive roots and vine stumps, hardened by the relentless Provençal sun.

At his height, Sutherland was the most celebrated and successful artist of his generation in Britain. Internationally renowned, he spent part of his time in continental Europe while realising portraits of members of the British high society, such as Somerset Maugham, Kenneth Clark and Winston Churchill. His enduring relationship to landscape is manifest in his works on paper.