Illustrated companion

Victor Pasmore was a founder member of the Euston Road School. In 1937 he and the painter Claude Rogers opened a teaching studio in Fitzroy Street, Soho. Later in the year, they were joined by William Coldstream and the studio blossomed into 'A New School ... of Drawing and Painting' under the direction of the three of them. On moving to premises at 316 Euston Road it became known as the Euston Road School. Its prospectus stated: 'In teaching, particular emphasis will be laid on training the observation ... No attempt, however, will be made to impose a style and students will be left with maximum freedom of expression.'

Euston Road painters favoured scenes of everyday London life, in much the same way as had Sickert and the painters of Camden Town, earlier in the century. Pasmore's paintings of the Thames at Chiswick, where he was living in the early 1940s, maybe compared with Whistler's of the Thames at Chelsea. Like Whistler, Pasmore has extracted a delicate and highly aesthetic poetry from the River that already sets him apart from the generally rather sombre realism of Euston Road. In its delicate atmospherics this painting also looks back to Turner, and another in the series of Thames views of which it is part is titled 'Sun Shining Through Mist', an echo perhaps of Turner's famous 'Sun Rising Through Vapour' in the National Gallery in London. This series also displays distinct abstract tendencies and Pasmore moved steadily from this time onwards to an increasingly pure abstraction.

Published in:
Simon Wilson, Tate Gallery: An Illustrated Companion, Tate Gallery, London, revised edition 1991, p.187