John Armstrong

Dreaming Head

1938

Not on display
Artist
John Armstrong 1893–1973
Medium
Tempera on wood
Dimensions
Support: 478 x 794 mm
frame: 654 x 966 x 84 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1938
Reference
N04934

Display caption

Armstrong had a strong love of the countryside, which stemmed from a childhood spent in a small Sussex village. This manifested itself in his work through a meticulous depiction of flowers and leaves, seen prominently in this painting. Influenced by the Surrealist movement, he worked in a style that presented objects with great clarity along with a sense of mystery.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

N04934 DREAMING HEAD 1938
 
Inscr. ‘JA [in monogram] 38’ b.l.
Tempera on wood, 18 1/4×30 3/4 (46·5×78).
Purchased from the artist through Reid and Lefevre (Clarke Fund) 1938.

An entirely imaginary composition of a Surrealist kind, with a deliberate ambiguity of scale and content. The ‘dreaming head’ takes the form of a plaster cast of a woman's head set down in a coast landscape of chalk cliffs, and convolvulus flowers sprout from its base.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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