Myrtle Cottage, near Penzance, was the home of his beloved sister, Nany Morris. He visited his sister frequently, and Cornwall remained a strong influence on Morris which is witness in his artwork.

Morris’s preoccupation with nature and travel converge here in this equally magnificent and idiosyncratic take on the Cornish setting. Swathes of verdant green and deciduous trees are reminiscent of a nearing winter and Morris successfully captures the peaceful essence of this quiet space. Evident in this painting and typical in the Morris’s other works is his refusal to reproduce what was in front of him, instead favouring ‘the emotion of the landscape… with its corresponding characteristics’.[1]

Indeed, the art historian Richard Morphet described Morris’s artistic outlook as ‘realism but not reality’ in his catalogue to the 1984 Tate retrospective of Morris’s paintings. An underlying tension between the descriptive representation of what Morris saw directly in front of him and the overall directedness with which he executed his own interpretation of reality pervades many of his paintings.[2]

Texture forms a dominant aspect of his work, further heightened by his impasto application of paint.[3] This technique enables Morris to unite...

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Morris’s preoccupation with nature and travel converge here in this equally magnificent and idiosyncratic take on the Cornish setting. Swathes of verdant green and deciduous trees are reminiscent of a nearing winter and Morris successfully captures the peaceful essence of this quiet space. Evident in this painting and typical in the Morris’s other works is his refusal to reproduce what was in front of him, instead favouring ‘the emotion of the landscape… with its corresponding characteristics’.[1]

Indeed, the art historian Richard Morphet described Morris’s artistic outlook as ‘realism but not reality’ in his catalogue to the 1984 Tate retrospective of Morris’s paintings. An underlying tension between the descriptive representation of what Morris saw directly in front of him and the overall directedness with which he executed his own interpretation of reality pervades many of his paintings.[2]

Texture forms a dominant aspect of his work, further heightened by his impasto application of paint.[3] This technique enables Morris to unite differing forms, textures and colours to create a unified whole; the naturally rugged and organic shapes of the garden here merge effortlessly with the geometric structure of the building in the background.

Myrtle Cottage, near Penzance, was the home of his beloved sister, Nany Morris. He visited his sister frequently, and Cornwall remained a strong influence on Morris which is witness in his artwork. In his one-man show at The Leicester Galleries in April 1932, six views of Cornwall were exhibited, including Gurnard’s Head and another of Porthmeor Beach in St Ives.

[1] A. M. Berry, La Nacion (Buenos Aires, 1924) quoted in Cedric Morris (1889-1982): Beyond the Garden Wall (London: Philip Mould Ltd., 2018) p.17.

[2] L. Lewis, ‘Catalogue Entries’, in Cedric Morris (1889-1982): Beyond the Garden Wall (London: Philip Mould Ltd., 2018) p.102.

[3] L. Lewis, ‘Catalogue Entries’, in Cedric Morris (1889-1982): Beyond the Garden Wall (London: Philip Mould Ltd., 2018) p.78.

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500 Years of British Art