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La Thangue was born in Croydon, but he trained in Paris and was particularly inspired by French artists. The work of Gustave Courbet and Jules Bastien-Lepage encouraged him to paint realist rural pictures, and he was also influenced by the Impressionists’ commitment to painting before nature.In France, La Thangue adopted the ‘square brush’ technique used here to striking effect. It allowed him to cover the canvas quickly and to capture fleeting light effects. He painted this work in Norfolk, and characteristically placed the figures against a high horizon, flattening the picture space.

July 2007