Description: Victor Pasmore, R.A. (1908-1998) Girl Sewing signed with initials 'V.P.' (lower right) oil on canvas 24½ x 29½ in. (62.3 x 75 cm.) Painted in 1942.
Artist or Maker: Victor Pasmore, R.A. (1908-1998)
Exhibited: Wakefield, City Art Gallery, The Euston Road School and Others, May - June 1948, no. 72.
London, Tate Gallery, Victor Pasmore: Retrospective exhibition 1925-65, May - June 1965, no. 27.
Provenance: Purchased by J.E. Craig Macfarlane, a friend of the artist, direct from the artist, circa 1946.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 10 November 1989, lot 325.
with New Art Centre, London, where purchased by the present owner in May 1990.
Notes: In 1937 Pasmore, together with fellow artists William Coldstream and Claude Rogers, opened a School of Drawing and Painting in Fitzroy Street, which then moved to 316 Euston Road and was known as the Euston Road School. The artists involved shared a desire to promote traditional subject matter depicted in a realistic manner in reaction to avant-garde art. The pupils at the school were taught to paint directly from the model and inspiration was drawn from artists including Sickert, Degas and Bonnard.
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Dating from 1942, Girl Sewing was painted at Colinton in Scotland while Pasmore was serving in the army. Although the Euston Road School had closed in 1939, with the onset of the war, Pasmore continued to paint in the tradition of the school in his works of the 1940s. The muted colours of this painting are typical of this period of Pasmore's output and he has combined figurative and still life subject matter that both feature strongly in his early work. The painting relates to a series of works that Pasmore painted depicting the painter Wendy Blood, whom he married in 1940. Alan Bowness comments on these works, 'Lightly painted, soft and delicate in colour, these pictures have a quietness, an inner stillness that contrasts most strongly with the events of the outside world. Pasmore's own career was dramatic and traumatic. He registered as a conscientious objector, was forcibly enlisted in the army, imprisoned and discharged in the space of a few months' (see A. Bowness and L. Lambertini, op. cit., p. 10).