Two Figures by the Shore is a quintessentially Neo-Romantic picture. It was painted while Vaughan was serving in the army during the war. Due to rationing and military restrictions he was unable to carry out large-scale work or produce easel paintings. Instead, he turned his hand to works on paper executed with gouache, pen and ink or any other humble materials he could squeeze into his knapsack. Influenced by the jewel-like intensity and poetic visions of Blake and Palmer, he produced several small, but intensely elegiac, images often depicting nocturnal scenes.
The present work, having been forgotten for decades, was discovered in 1980 at the bottom of a bedroom cupboard belonging to Dr. Patrick Woodcock, Vaughan’s life-long friend and executor.
We are very grateful to Gerard Hastings, whose forthcoming book Keith Vaughan: The Graphic Art, is soon to be published by Pagham Press, for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.