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In 1977 Hitchens painted several views from the flat part of the roof of his house at Lavington Common, which was surrounded by trees. This was the first time that he had painted on his roof. Throughout his career Hitchens had frequently referred to his painting in musical terms. As early as 1933 he had declared his interest in the 'musical appearance of things' rather than their solid external reality. For example his division of the canvas into segments can be seen as a parallel to musical rhythms and variations. In late works such as this, his use of heightened colour comes closest to musical abstraction.

September 2004