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Bevan was influenced by Walter Sickert’s advice that artists should find subjects in everyday London life. This is one of his many pictures of horses. It shows a horse sale at Barbican, in Aldersgate in the city. The auctioneer stands in the decorated box in the background, surrounded by a large group of bidders. Horses were still common in London but the advent of the motor car had suggested that their days were numbered.The flat and textured colours of this work show the influence of the French Post-Impressionist artist Gauguin, whom Bevan met in Brittany in 1893.

July 2007