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This painting is of Pasmore's pregnant wife Wendy. The just detectable squaring-up marks and the precisely located bodily contours recall the fidelity to observation of the Euston Road School artists of whom Pasmore was a leading member. At the same time the freedom of touch in the bedclothes looks back to Pasmore's sensuous paintings in the mid-1930s. Both the clarity and the amplitude of the figure recall the nineteenth-century French painter Ingres, whose image Pasmore included in a later painting of a nude. Here, he was also painting in reaction to a nude by Renoir - 'I thought I'd do the subject, but without the sloppy sentiment. I thought I'd do someone in the family way, just sitting on a bed'.

August 2004