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Prunella Clough (1919-1999)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Prunella Clough (1919-1999)

Landscape with Fir Plantation

Prunella Clough (1919-1999)
Landscape with Fir Plantation
signed 'Clough' (lower right), signed again, inscribed and dated 'LANDSCAPE WITH FIR PLANTATION/PRUNELLA CLOUGH/1948' (on the backboard)
oil on canvas
11 ¼ x 13 in. (28.5 x 33 cm.)
Painted in 1948.
with Elm Hill Art Gallery, Norwich, where purchased by the present owner, circa 1963.
London, Olympia, Prunella Clough: Seeing the World Sideways, March 2004, no. 83.
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Philip Harley
Philip Harley Head of Sale

Lot Essay

Clough was drawn to paint the elusive quality of things, and famously admitted (in one of her rare public statements) that she aimed at ‘saying a small thing edgily’. The sombre early palette has here been ameliorated slightly by an admixture of blue-green, but she always worried that she might be making her work too tasteful, even elegant, and constantly disrupted her urge to paint brighter by a confirmed reliance on what she herself called ‘sludge colours’. Even though she painted so many predominantly urban themes, she remarked to Bryan Robertson in 1982 : ‘I see my subject largely as landscape.’ Here is a landscape from her early maturity, painted in 1948, and possibly of an East Anglian subject, although the slight hill on the left might suggest otherwise. More likely perhaps that her reference point was the estuarine landscape of Kent or Essex, which she frequently visited. But the place is in some senses immaterial: the point of the painting is the interplay of tones and subfusc colours, the quasi-geometry of their arrangement and the quiet and unforeseen magic the composition effortlessly generates.


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