Ceri Richards
Cold Light, Deep Shadow 1950

Artwork details

Ceri Richards 1903–1971
Cold Light, Deep Shadow
Date 1950
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 914 x 1168 mm
frame: 1152 x 1406 x 46 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1950
Not on display

Catalogue entry


Inscr. ‘Ceri 50 Richards’ b.r.
Canvas, 36×46 (91·5×116·5).
Purchased from the Redfern Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1950.
Exh: Redfern Gallery, May–June 1950 (1).

The artist wrote (30 November 1958) that the motif of musicians and musical instruments has appeared consistently in his work since 1930, and is significant perhaps only because of his upbringing in a musical family and of his own keen interest in music. ‘Cold Light, Deep Shadow’, which shows an interior with two figures seated round a piano, is a development of the ‘Light and Shadow’ painting also exhibited at the Redfern Gallery in 1950 (6, repr.). 'The shadow shapes in this particular painting link it with 3 or 4 other paintings with titles like “Sunlight in a Room”, “Shadows in a Room”, which are in private collections. These were done in the same year [1950] and were shown at the Redfern Gallery Exhibition from which the Tate picture was bought.

‘Later this Light/Interior motif developed into several paintings which were more like abstract nuances of colour and form.’

Among the paintings at the Redfern Exhibition were some whose titles had explicit musical connotations, e.g. ‘Red interior with Piano Music by Albeniz’, ‘Saudade for the rape of the Sabines’, and ‘St Cecilia’.

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

About this artwork