Tristram Hillier

La Route des Alpes

1937

Artist
Tristram Hillier 1905–1983
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 597 x 806 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1944
Reference
N05447

Not on display

Display caption

Hillier studied at the Slade School of Art, London, in 1926, and then in Paris. He lived in the South of France until 1940, and this picture was painted in 1937 when he was staying near Vence. The artist later wrote of the work: 'Here I started to paint landscape again, not in my earlier manner en plein air, but attempting to construct my pictures from rough drawings which I would elaborate in the studio, in the style of the Flemish and Italian masters whose work I had recently had so much opportunity of studying. This was the beginning of my ultimate phase in painting, and became the manner in which I have worked ever since.'

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

N05447 LA ROUTE DES ALPES 1937
 
Inscr. ‘Hillier’ b.l.
Tempera on canvas, 23 1/2×31 3/4 (60×80·5).
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1944.
Coll: Purchased by the C.A.S. through Arthur Tooth & Sons 1943.
Lit: Tristram Hillier, Leda and the Goose, 1954, p.151.
Repr: C.A.S. Report 1942–3, 1944, facing p.6; Hesketh Hubbard, A Hundred Years of British Painting 1851–1951, 1951, pl.114.

Painted in 1937 when the artist was staying near Vence. He writes (loc. cit.): ‘Here I started to paint landscape again, not in my earlier manner en plein air, but attempting to construct my pictures from rough drawings which I would elaborate in the studio, in the style of the Flemish and Italian masters whose work I had recently had so much opportunity of studying. This was the beginning of my ultimate phase in painting, and became the manner in which I have worked ever since. There is a picture of mine La Route des Alpes dating from this time which now hangs in the Tate Gallery and illustrates fairly well, though I do not care for it, this period of transition from abstraction and surrealism to representational painting.’

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

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