Sir Cedric Lockwood Morris, Bt. (1889-1982)
The present work was undertaken in Algeria in 1921 on one of these impromptu sojourns abroad...
This lively study of a Mediterranean town was undertaken by Cedric Morris in 1921 when he was travelling around Algeria...
In late 1920 Morris and his partner Arthur Lett-Haines (known as ‘Lett’) moved from Newlyn in Cornwall to Paris where they lived until 1925. Although Paris was an exciting place to live and work as a young artist, Morris never liked large cities and he rarely stayed in Paris for any longer than a few months at a time. Instead, Paris was more of a base than a home and Morris (often with Lett) would often disappear for many weeks travelling around Europe and North Africa.
The present work was undertaken in Algeria in 1921 on one of these impromptu sojourns abroad. According to Lett, by the summer of 1921, after previously visiting Cassis in France, Morris was staying in the Algerian city Tizi Ouzou, where he ‘settled for a short time… painting all the time prolifically’. It seems likely, therefore, that the present work depicts a quiet corner of Tizi Ouzou, a city which Morris greatly enjoyed and to which he would later return.
Curiously, Morris only appears to have worked with pencil and paper during the years he was based in Paris, and for the rest of his career he worked exclusively in oils. These rare, early pencil sketches allow, therefore, an interesting insight into the versatility of Morris’s style at this period. Unlike the oils he was painting at this date, which were composed using short, choppy and well-ordered brushstrokes, sketches such as this example were drawn with long, impulsive strokes at a great pace.
 Lett-Haines, A., c.1968. Manuscript about Cedric Morris. [Manuscript.] TGA 8317/2/8/5. London: Tate Archives.