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Like several of the Surrealists, with whom he exhibited in 1925, Pierre Roy used a precise style to portray an uncertain reality. A Naturalist’s Study alludes to the nineteenth-century concern with scientific classification and order. However, the relationship between these curious objects, including a paper snake and a string of eggs, remains mysterious. The artist’s son described this work as portraying a strangely motionless world: ‘Life seems to have stopped and become fixed like the locomotive itself in front of a chance or imaginary obstacle’.

December 2005