Sir Matthew Smith
Cornish Church 1920

Artwork details

Sir Matthew Smith 1879–1959
Cornish Church
Date 1920
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 533 x 648 mm
frame: 735 x 845 x 100
Acquisition Purchased 1949
Not on display

Display caption

After a period of prolonged illness Smith spent the autumn and winter of 1920 in the village of St Columb Major in Cornwall. Here he completed a number of landscapes, and this is the view from the window of his room. The intense colours and black sky are reminiscent of the Brücke group of German Expressionist painters, but Smith denied a connection, and felt himself to be closer to French art. In Paris in 1919 he knew well the Irish painter Roderic O'Conor, who like Smith had belonged to Gauguin's circle in Brittany. Smith saw his landscapes and nudes, in which he used radiant colour in a similar constructional way.

August 2004

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