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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.'

September 2004