The present lot is a study for one of three paintings in which Hockney painted a man standing or sitting alongside an Egyptian figure. In 1962 he painted The First Marriage (A Marriage of Styles I) (Tate Britain), showing a scene inspired by a visit to a museum with his friend Jeff Goodman, 'Suddenly I caught sight of him standing next to an Egyptian sculpted figure ... Both figures were looking the same way, and it amused me that in my first glimpse of them they looked united' (see N. Stangos (ed.), David Hockney by David Hockney, London, 1976, p. 89). He painted another called The Second Marriage (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne) in 1963, in which he portrays a more domestic scene.
The present lot is a study for Man in a Museum (or You're in the Wrong Movie), 1962, (The British Council), in which Hockney has exaggerated the man and Egyptian figure. It 'may be understood as an illustration of Hockney's recollection of the scene, the artist having exaggerated both the appearance and the formal qualities of the wooden sculpture so as to facilitate a contrast of styles' (P. Melia and U. Luckhardt, David Hockney Paintings, London, 2000, p. 44).
John Hulton, the previous owner of the present work joined the Fine Arts Department of the British Council in 1948 and became Director in 1970. He also owned Blue Still Life, 1956, by William Scott, R.A. which is being sold as lot 116 in this sale.