N05211 THE BLACK DOOR c. 1935
Inscr. ‘Harold Jones’ b.l.
Gouache, 19 1/4×13 1/4 (49×34).
Purchased from the artist (Knapping Fund) 1940.
The artist wrote (6 January 1943) that this was painted about 1935 and was taken from a drawing made at Spendon, Derbyshire. A drawing of this picture was used for the back cover of This Year, Next Year by the artist and Walter de la Mare, a book for children published by Faber and Faber in 1937, which included a poem by de la Mare related to the picture and entitled ‘Farewell’:
Ah me! That pen should be where mine is - That F.I.N.I.S. spells FINIS! It means - oh sad! - our book is over, And all its pictures, excepting one You'll find, dear Reader, on the cover - Of starlings feeding in the sun.
There, open stands a shining door; To let us out - but in no more. There glides a stream. A linden tree Dreams of the Spring. The distant woods Hear the gentle wind sigh, ‘This is she!’ - And into leaf unfurl their buds. Listen! that far, faint clarion! ... Farewell! All blessings! I am gone.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I