Catalogue entry

T00283 NIGHT FLOWERS 1959

Inscr. ‘John Maxwell 1959’, incised in paint b.l. and, on stretcher, ‘Night Flowers’ and ‘John Maxwell 1959’.
Canvas, 36×24 (91·5×61).
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1959.
Exh: R.S.A., 1959 (194).

Painted during the first three months of 1959, one of four paintings on the theme of moths, butterflies and flowers. The artist wrote (2 September 1960) that ‘the series started from two incidents - I) Moths against the window at dusk; 2) a particularly lavish flowering of a large bush of Rosa Moyesii I have in the garden. Both seemed to suggest pictorial possibilities.... The first [painting] is still here in my studio - not completely resolved.’ The second of the series is at Aberdeen (‘Butterflies and Rose’; repr. in colour, Studio, CLX, 1960, p.42), the third is that in the Tate Gallery, and the fourth, a horizontal composition, remained in the artist's possession.

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