Ivon Hitchens

Interior, Boy in Bed

1941

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 406 x 743 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1980
Reference
T03126

Display caption

When they first moved to Lavington Common, Hitchens and his family lived in a caravan. His studio was built in 1941. During the day Hitchens painted in the studio while his wife Mollie and son John occupied the caravan. This picture shows the family at night in the studio where they slept. John can be seen in the cot while Mollie is at the sink with steps behind leading to an attic. 'Boy in Bed' belongs to a series of paintings of interiors which suggest the cosy intimacy of family life, although during the war-torn 1940s the family endured real physical hardship.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

T03126 INTERIOR, BOY IN BED 1943

Inscribed ‘Hitchens’ bottom left
Oil on canvas, 16 × 29 1/4 (40.6 × 72.2)
Purchased from the artist's estate through the Waddington Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1980
Exh: Modern British Painting, British Council exhibition shown in Athens, Rome, Paris, Marseilles and Prague, 1947–8 (6); Ivon Hitchens, Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, October 1948 (5); Three Masters of Modern British Painting: Ivon Hitchens, Stanley Spencer, Graham Sutherland, Arts Council exhibition, City Art Gallery, Plymouth, June 1961, Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, July, Temple Newsam House, Leeds, July–August, City Art Gallery, Manchester, August–September, Art Gallery and Museum, Cheltenham, September–October (1); Ivon Hitchens: A Retrospective Exhibition, Arts Council exhibition, City Art Gallery, Bradford, August–September 1963 and City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, September–October 1963 (39, repr.), not hung in the first showing of this exhibition at the Tate Gallery in July–August because of a shortage of space; Ivon Hitchens: A Retrospective Exhibition, RA, March–April 1979, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, May–June, Newlyn Art Gallery, June–July, Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston-upon-Hull, August–September and Castle Museum, Nottingham, September–October (18, repr.)

After Ivon Hitchens's studio had been built at Lavington Common in 1941 the daily routine of the family was to have breakfast in the studio and then for Hitchens to paint undisturbed while his wife and son occupied the caravan in the daytime. At night they all slept in the studio. ‘Interior, Boy in Bed’ was painted in the studio. On the left is the fireplace and on its right a screen which was placed in front of the boy's cot at night. John Hitchens is seen sitting in his cot and to the right is Mollie Hitchens standing at the sink; behind her are steps leading to an attic.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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