Sir Cedric Morris, Bt
Landscape of Shame c.1960

Artwork details

Landscape of Shame
Date c.1960
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 756 x 1002 mm
frame: 905 x 1164 x 80 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1987
Not on display

Display caption

Morris had painted birds quite often since the 1920s. Here he shows a variety of dead or dying birds in a desolate landscape. A rook and moorhen are in the foreground, and a male partridge dominates the centre of the composition. Morris made the work in response to the devastating effects of certain crop-sprays and pesticides on the bird population. Some of his friends have recalled his anger and frustration at the pitiful destruction of birdlife around his home at Benton End in Suffolk. The ill-effects of some pesticides were first noticed in the mid-1950s. By the end of the decade large numbers of birds were found dead in the fields.

September 2004

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