Oil on canvas
About the work
This painting shows part of a valley of sunflowers along the rugged coast between the town of Sóller and the village of Deya (Deià) on the north west coast of Majorca, an area where Gore spent much time painting. By accentuating the vivid burnt orange earth and large yellow flowers against the deep blues of the sky and the silvery greens of the plants, Gore has captured the brilliant and vibrant contrasts of the landscape.
Unusually for Gore’s work, a small figure of a man and a plough horse are included in this composition. In contrasting scale, the sunflowers in the foreground take on gigantic proportions, dwarfing the man and animal. The painting reflects Gore’s concern with the close relationship between man and his environment. He once explained the processes of drawing from nature: "We cannot understand how the tree grew except by relating what we see to our own sense of growth, or how the branch hangs in the air without identifying it with our own innate sense of balance and our own weight, or how the wind rocks it without ourselves feeling the wind blow."
Mediterranean landscapes of the South of France and Spain were some of Gore’s favourite subjects, illustrating the importance of colour and light in his work. They also reflect his admiration for the landscapes of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, and for the Fauvist tradition of pure colour and direct contact with nature.
About the artist
Frederick Gore studied painting at the Ruskin School while reading classics at Oxford. He later studied at Westminster Art School and the Slade School, and on leaving in 1937 he had his first solo exhibition at the Redfern Gallery, London. After serving in the army he started teaching at St Martin's School of Art and by 1951 was Head of Painting there - a position he held until he retired in 1979. Gore was elected Associate of Royal Academy in 1964 and RA in 1973. Since 1949 he has held a number of solo exhibitions in London and New York. His father was the painter Spencer Frederick Gore (1878-1914), a central figure in the Camden Town Group of artists.
Frederick Gore (1913 - 2009)
- Oil on canvas
- height: 76.00 cm, width: 101.50 cm
- Purchased from Mayor Gallery, June 1960
- bl: F GORE
- GAC number