Patrick Heron (1920-1999)
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Patrick Heron (1920-1999)

Still Life with Hyacinths, Plaice and Lemon

Patrick Heron (1920-1999)
Still Life with Hyacinths, Plaice and Lemon
signed and dated 'Patrick Heron 46' (upper left)
oil on canvas
20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm.)
Howard Bliss.
London, Arts Council, An Exhibition of Modern Paintings from the Collection of Howard Bliss, 1951, catalogue not traced.
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Lot Essay

The mid-1940s were a turning point for Heron. He married Delia Reiss in 1945 and returned to London, having spent the war in St Ives, working on the land as a conscientious objector. He had also spent a short time working at Bernard Leach's pottery studio in St Ives. Pre-war, Heron had been influenced by Sickert and Cézanne, however, in 1946, Heron came across firsthand another painter whose influence would also feed into his work. He had previously bought a book on Braque but the 1946 exhibition at the Tate enabled him to see a number of pre-war works by Braque hung together and Heron was 'bowled over' and wrote a long article about them for The New English Weekly.

In relation to how much his own work was influenced by Braque, Heron commented, 'My own handling, my own colour sense were infinitely more Matissian and always had been - and at times, Bonnardian. My paintings never looked like Braque; Braque is full of straight lines, ruled lines, and submerged, indeed, not very submerged, cubist geometry, of a very severe nature. There is nothing like that in my paintings. My paintings are always fluid in a Matissian way. But my devotion to Braque registered very much with people because of my being the first person in Britain to write about him really' (quoted in D. Sylvester (ed.), exhibition catalogue, Patrick Heron, London, Tate Gallery, 1998, p. 25).

Painted in 1946, the present work depicts a table-top still life, probably arranged in No. 3, St Andrew's Street in St Ives, which was a cottage that Heron rented (see lot 100).

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