The present work is a miniature interpretation of Chimère I (78½ x 47½ in.) from 1946 and Chimère II (70 x 36 in.) from 1946-47, both in private British collections. Douglas Cooper explains how the Chimère idea of an imaginary figure grew out of Sutherland's Staring Tree Forms: 'What are these Forms? Where do they derive from, and what do they mean? 'They do not, of course, mean anything', replies the artist. They are what he calls 'monuments and presences', but they have origins, nevertheless, in bits of trees or plants which the artist has 'emotionally modified from their natural prototype' in accordance with some private visionary impulse ... Staring Tree Form of 1945 which, vastly enlarged, becomes in 1946 the terrifying Chimère. Here Sutherland starts with a fallen tree-trunk - from which a knot in the bark seems to glare at him like the eye of a Cyclops - and reinterprets the object until he has arrived at a dramatic but slightly grotesque apparition. Posed as it is on a sort of throne, this creature has the aloofness of a monument, yet as it fixes us with its eyes so it disquiets us with its presence'. Cooper continues, 'We find examples of similar 'presences' in the work of Picasso and Max Ernst. However, unlike the frightening imaginative creations of these two artists, Sutherland's Forms are neither pictorial metaphors nor dream-world monsters but dummies like de Chirico's Muses. As he himself has said, they are substitutes for human figures, fetish-like abstractions which proclaim their organic origins and enable him by inference 'to catch the taste - the quality - the essence of the human figure' (see D. Cooper, Graham Sutherland, London, 1961, p. 46).