Ivon Hitchens

October Painting, Yellow and Blue


Not on display

Ivon Hitchens 1893–1979
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 622 × 1384 mm
Presented by Howard Bliss in memory of his brother, Kennard, killed 1916 on The Somme

Display caption

This is one of four versions of the same subject. Hitchens found that painting several versions of one subject enabled him to resolve the painterly problems of interpreting a particular place, or aspect of nature. Although the subject was a specific group of trees, with distant views visible between the trunks, Hitchens insisted that it was not a literal copy of nature. He wrote: 'What I see and feel I try to reduce to patches and lines of pigment which have an effect upon our aesthetic consciousness, independent of (although interpreting) the facts of nature.' Tones and colours produce an equivalent to real space and atmosphere.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

Ivon Hitchens 1893-1979

T01205 October Painting, Yellow and Blue 1963

Inscribed ‘Hitchens’ b.l. Also title and dimensions in artist’s hand on labels on the stretcher.
Canvas, 24¼ x 54½ (61.5 x 138.5).
Presented by Howard Bliss, 1970, in memory of his brother Kennard, killed 1916 on the Somrne.
Coll: Howard Bliss.
Exh: Paintings by Ivon Hitchens from the Howard Bliss Collection, South London Art Gallery, July–August 1967 (31), and tour of England.

The artist wrote (letter of 20 December 1971) that he painted the subject of T01205 in ‘several versions following my usually normal procedure of painting numerous canvases during the solving of the problems set up in trying to interpret some particular aspect of nature or place’. He added in a letter of 5 April 1972: ‘This is a painting created in a locality of trees, between which are distant views. It is a created painting, not a copy from nature of this particular locality.’

‘There appear to be four versions, 1. T01205 apparently the largest of the four. 2. “November Painting, Blue and Purple” 1963, 21 x 52 in. [private collection], 3. “December Painting, Green and Ochre” 1963, 20¼ x 41 ½ in. [private collection]. 4. Unfinished and untitled, 21 x 52 in. [in artist’s possession].’

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1970–1972, London 1972.


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