Graham Vivian Sutherland

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Graham Vivian Sutherland
Study for a Palm Tree
Black crayon, watercolor in shades of green, yellow, and red, brush and black ink, yellow oil, on sheet of spiral notebook paper; squared in blue pencil. Verso: black crayon, extraneous marks in red and green watercolor.
10 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches (267 x 208 mm)
Bequest of Ernest Hillman, Jr., 2003.

Known early in his career for densely worked etchings inspired by Samuel Palmer (1805-1881), the British painter and printmaker Graham Sutherland enjoyed success as a painter of abstract landscapes and portraits of such luminaries as Somerset Maugham, Konrad Adenauer, and Sir Winston Churchill. Beginning in the late 1940s, Sutherland regularly visited the south of France, and from 1955 he made his home in Menton. In response to this new environment, Mediterranean motifs such as palm trees and vine pergolas began to appear in his work, and his palette brightened with tones of pink, coral, and green. The "Arthur" to whom Sutherland gave the present drawing, as noted in the inscription on the verso, was his friend and dealer the American collector Arthur Jeffress (1905-1961), at whose house in Venice Sutherland stayed each summer during the 1950s.


Inscribed by the artist on verso at lower center in graphite, "Keep for / Arthur".

Arthur Jeffress (Pictures), London; from whom acquired by Ernest Hillman in 1957.