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The Earl's Court Exhibition of 1887
was the first of four, devoted in turn to America, Italy, France and Germany. The 'Alps' were the painted backdrop to the display about America which owed much of its success to Colonel Cody's ('Buffalo Bill') Wild West Show.
Steer's use of sombre colours and decorative surface pattern echoes
the work of Whistler and Japanese prints. In the following year he began to adopt the style and technique of the French Impressionists, and painted a series
of beach scenes in luminous colours.