During the Second World War Sutherland's work as an Official War Artist reinforced his place as one of Britain's leading artists. Sir Kenneth Clark facilitated Sutherland's role in the War Artist's Advisory Commission, and he was a major influence upon the artist. The effect of Sutherland's work in the W.A.A.C. was lasting, and his approach to his subject during the war effected and altered his approach after it: 'The artist's fascination with narrow, enclosed spaces, with their connotations of fear and confinement, is carried over from the landscape to the long dark tunnels of the Cornish tin mines' (M. Hammer, exhibition catalogue, Graham Sutherland. Landscapes, War Scenes, Portraits 1924-1950, London, Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2005, p. 28).
Sutherland introduced brighter colours to his post-war work: 'When I did start working in France, in 1947, I must confess that I did wonder how I had come to anticipate, by this lightening of key, the clarity of the steady southern light. Colour has two major functions. It is form and mood ... it is fascinating to make complete changes of colour in the background of a painting and see how the whole atmosphere changes' (The Listener, 6 September 1951, pp. 376-78).
In an article titled 'Graham Sutherland's New Paintings' in the July 1948 issue of Harper's Bazaar, Raymond Mortimer also discusses this use of colour, 'His recent pictures express his response to the South. Two years ago he went for the first time to the Mediterranean ... he fell in love with the landscape and the life (Sutherland moved to Menton in 1955). Mr Sutherland's (response) is utterly his own, inconveniently personal ... the southern sky we know as inescapably blue becomes ... pink or green. Disconcerting? Possibly. I know only that the first time I saw one of these skies I was at once, as it were, infected with the artist's joy in the violence of the Mediterranean light' (pp. 44-71).