Angus Davidson (1898-1980) writer and publisher

Sir Cedric Morris (1889 - 1981)

Oil on beaver board

1928-1929

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  • About the work

    Known primarily for his work as a translator and publisher, Angus Davidson, the sitter in this portrait, was associated with the circle of artists, writers and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. Between 1924 and 1929 he worked as an assistant at the Hogarth Press with Leonard and Virginia Woolf. He translated the works of Alberto Moravia and Mario Praz, and wrote an innovative biography of Edward Lear that focused on his achievements as an artist.

    Cedric Morris's portrait of Angus Davidson is calm and restrained, giving an impression of the sitter's appearance and character through the use of colour and form. The paint has been applied in short, tight dabs using the end of the brush, producing an overall texture that animates the portrait. Unlike many painters, Morris often painted straight onto the canvas without making preparatory sketches beforehand. Although this painting was originally part of a larger group portrait, it nevertheless stands in its own right as a quietly beautiful and powerful portrait of a pensive young man.

    Sir Cedric Morris was born in Swansea in 1889 and inherited his father's baronetcy in 1947. He turned to painting shortly before the First World War, and was largely self-taught. With his life-long companion, the painter Arthur Lett Haines, he established the East Anglian School of Drawing and Painting, whose students included Lucian Freud. Morris exhibited with the Seven and Five Society from 1926 to 1932, but withdrew when his own preference for figurative painting began to diverge from the Society's emphasis on abstraction. During the Depression in the 1930s he worked with communities in his native south Wales to establish art societies. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Tate Gallery in 1984.

  • About the artist
    Cedric Morris was born in Swansea and began painting just before the First World War, largely self-taught. He briefly attended the Académie Delacluse in Paris in 1914. With his life-long companion, the painter Arthur Lett Haines (1894-1978), he established the East Anglian School of Drawing and Painting in Dedham, Suffolk, whose students included Lucian Freud. Morris exhibited with the Seven and Five Society (1926-1932), but later withdrawing as his preference for figuration diverged from their focus on abstraction. During the Depression, Morris worked with communities in his native south Wales to establish art societies. He inherited his father’s baronetcy in 1947. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Tate, London in 1984.
  • Explore
    People
    Davidson, Angus
    Places
    Materials & Techniques
    beaver board, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Title
    Angus Davidson (1898-1980) writer and publisher
    Date
    1928-1929
    Medium
    Oil on beaver board
    Dimensions
    height: 37.00 cm, width: 31.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from the artist, May 1979
    Inscription
    None
    GAC number
    14555