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In his 'Reflections on the Nude' (1967) Stokes wrote: 'There is a sense in which all art is of the body'. He explained that, whatever the motif, forms created on a surface can be seen as representing 'the actualities of the hidden psychic structure made up of evaluations and phantasies with corporeal content'. In his paintings from the model, such as this, Stokes examined the progression of forms revealed in an even light and celebrated the autonomy of the body. Stokes's figure painting began at the Euston Road School in 1937. His teacher there, William Coldstream, painted many of his late works, including nudes, in Stokes's house after his death.

September 2004