Peter Lanyon

St Just


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Peter Lanyon 1918–1964
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 2445 x 1220 x 26 mm
Lent from a private collection 2014
On long term loan

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Lanyon named this painting for St Just-in- Penwith, the small, grey town that was the historic centre of the west Cornwall tin mining industry. Initially conceived as a crucifixion, Lanyon quickly associated this work with the tragic history of the mining district that runs west of St Ives towards St Just, as well as with mythological symbols of death and renewal. This painting was the culmination of a series of works made from late 1951 to 1954 in which Lanyon layered successive coats of thick paint in complex, tangled compositions that suggest landscapes with a symbolic meaning.

Gallery label, September 2016

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