About the work
Forests, pools and wild woodland settings were central themes of Ivon Hitchens’ ‘abstracted landscapes’ for almost 40 years. Composed in broad strokes and curves of paint, the semi-abstract composition of ‘Autumn Landscape’ conveys the colours of an autumnal scene set against an iron-grey sky.
Hitchens was inspired by the views around his mainly single-storey house in a rural and secluded part of Sussex, and it was in this setting that he developed landscapes on canvases which were more or less the shape of two adjacent squares – a format which he had first adopted in 1936 and which subsequently became his artistic trademark.
Hitchens wanted his landscapes to be read and appreciated in a similar way to music, so the extended compositional format, reminiscent of the shape of a musical score, was another logical choice. Drawing attention to musical parallels in his work, Hitchens wrote in 1956:
‘I should like things to fall into place with so clear a notation that the spectator’s eye and aesthetic ear shall receive a clear message, a clear tune’.
About the artist
The son of a painter, Ivon Hitchens was born in London and studied first at St John's Wood School of Art and then, until 1919, at the Royal Academy Schools. In 1920 Hitchens was a founder member of the artists' group, the 7 and 5 Society, and exhibited regularly in their shows. During the war his studio in North London was bombed. He then moved with his family to rural Sussex where he lived and worked for the rest of his life, painting abstracted landscapes in glorious colours on long, horizontal canvases. Hitchens produced a huge figurative mural for the English Folk Song and Dance Society at Cecil Sharp House in London. He was created CBE in 1958. Retrospectives of his work were held in Leeds in 1945 and at the Royal Academy in 1979.
Ivon Hitchens (1893 - 1979)
- Autumn Landscape
- Oil on canvas
- height: 40.00 cm, width: 73.00 cm
- Purchased from Leicester Galleries, June 1947
- bl: Ivon Hitchens 42
- GAC number