Sir Cedric Lockwood Morris, Bt. (1889-1982)
As an artist consistently directed by his own curiosity, it seems likely that Morris would have sought out a place of relative obscurity and intrigue that struck him as compelling enough to paint...
This is one of Morris’s most unique and enigmatic works, painted in 1922 while travelling through Italy. The way in which he structures the overall composition is markedly different in approach than that seen in An Italian Landscape, which favours a dominant surface pattern above all else. Although the precise location is currently unknown, the three conical domes behind the decorative wall in the right foreground appear to resemble the traditional Apulian dry stone huts specific to the Itria Valley in southern Italy. However, Morris is also known to have visited San Gimignano and Volterra in Tuscany, and Assisi in central Italy, all of which are considered hill towns and thus possible candidates.
As an artist consistently directed by his own curiosity, it seems likely that Morris would have sought out a place of relative obscurity and intrigue that struck him as compelling enough to paint. When travelling through Europe during the 1920s, his chosen subject matter often prioritises his own personalised experience of a particular view or setting over immediately recognisable landmarks or commonly known vistas. This is certainly the case in the present painting, where Morris reinforces the individualised experience by confronting the viewer with a meditative madonelle, which adorns the foreground wall.