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'Still Life with Sheep' was painted in a small hotel in Amsterdam. The artist had travelled to Amsterdam with her mother from their home in Vienna, immediately following the arrival of the Germans in Austria in 1938. Eventually the artist settled in England. In this still life, she posed the objects, including two eighteenth-century Chinese cloisonné sheep and some fruit, on an ironing board in the hotel, with the ironing board dictating the unusual oblong shape of the painting. Aside from the sheep, objects whose reassuring familiarity reminded the artist of her Viennese surroundings, this unusual still life is characterised by the rich colours of the grapefruit and by the bunch of grapes.

August 2004