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As a Conscientious Objector Gowing was exempt from service on condition that he continue painting. In 1944 he went to Wellington Square, London. This work, a view down the Square from the balcony, was one of the first pictures made there. It is painted in the realist style of the Euston Road School established in 1937 by Claude Rogers, William Coldstream and Victor Pasmore. Aware of the failure of modern art to reach the public, they opposed what they felt to be the pretentious posturing of the avant-garde with an art based on an objective appraisal of the subject. Gowing combines careful observation with a poetic sensibility, suggested here by hazy light which envelops the scene.

September 2004