David Jones

The Terrace

1929

Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 648 x 502 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1940
Reference
N05128

Display caption

Like many artists of the inter-war years Jones was attracted to views through windows. The window provided a strong compositional frame, allowing artists to contrast foreground and distance within an apparently logical representation of space. 'The Terrace', painted at Portslade, near Brighton, seems to celebrate the goodness of nature. The bright light pouring in through the window dissolves all hard edges, while the sea breeze plays with the curtains and table cloth. The colours, pale red, cool blue and lemon yellow, create a sense of the temperature, suggesting a visual equivalent for the warm sun and cool breeze. This work may also owe a debt to Turner, whose works Jones particularly admired at this time.

Gallery label, March 1995

Catalogue entry

N05128 THE TERRACE 1929
 
Inscr. ‘David Jones' 29’ b.r.
Watercolour, 25 1/2×19 3/4 (65×50).
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1940.
Coll: Purchased by the C.A.S. 1940, possibly from the Redfern Gallery.
Exh: (?) Goupil Gallery, March 1929 (13), as ‘Terrace overlooking Sea’; (?) Redfern Gallery, January 1940 (6), as ‘Verandah by the Sea’; C.E.M.A. tour, 1944 (5); Arts Council Welsh tour and Tate Gallery, 1954–5 (17).
Repr: Ironside, 1949, pl.3 (in colour); Studio, CXLIX, 1955, p.107 (in colour).

One of a number of watercolours painted from the veranda of a bungalow at Portslade near Hove, where the artist stayed from time to time with his parents from 1927 onwards; it may have been the work exhibited at the Goupil Gallery, 1929. He wrote (see Ede in Horizon, VIII, 1943, p.131, and the copy of a biographical statement of 5 September 1935 at the Tate Gallery), that ‘I always work from the window of a house if it is at all possible. I like looking out on the world from a reasonably sheltered position. I can't paint in the wind, and I like the indoors-outdoors, contained yet limitless feeling of windows and doors.’

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