John Craxton

Hotel by the Sea

1946

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 495 x 610 mm
frame: 682 x 795 x 60 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1957
Reference
T00117

Display caption

Craxton was born in London and studied at the Central School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College. In 1942 he became friends with Graham Sutherland and Lucian Freud. Craxton visited Greece for the first time in the summer of 1946. This is one of his earliest Greek landscapes, painted on the island of Poros. Craxton’s experience of Greece made him realise that his main interest in landscape was its human associations. Figures such as shepherds and poets, as well as farms, houses and animals, feature regularly in these works.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

T00117 HOTEL BY THE SEA 1946
 
Inscr. ‘Craxton. 46.’ b.l.
Canvas, 19 1/2×24 (49·5×61).

Purchased from Stephen Spender (Cleve and Knapping Funds) 1957.

Coll: Miss Brenda Pool, sold to Stephen Spender through the Leicester Galleries 1955.
Exh: British Council, British Institute, Athens, December 1946 (21); Recent Paintings and Drawings by John Craxton and Lucian Freud, London Gallery, October–November 1947 (20), as ‘Hotel by the Sea I’; I.C.A. and Arts Council, Ten Decades: A Review of British Taste 1851–1951, R.B.A. Galleries, October 1951 (239).
Lit: Geoffrey Grigson, John Craxton, 1948, p.5, repr. pl.14.
Repr: Penguin New Writing, No.32, 1947, between pp.96 and 97; Sir John Rothenstein, British Art since 1900, 1962, pl.110.

Painted in the summer of 1946 on the Island of Poros. This was the artist's first Greek landscape and was completed in the studio from drawings made on the site (information from the artist, 24 January 1957). Poros lies off the Morea in the Gulf of Aegina.

The artist painted several other pictures of the same subject. A small version belonged to the late Peter Watson and another picture entitled ‘Hotel by the Sea II’ was No.4 in the exhibition at the London Gallery 1947.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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