Sir Cedric Lockwood Morris, Bt. (1889-1982)
The present work is noticeably post-impressionist in tone, harking back to the paintings of Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) completed in Tahiti during the late-19th century...
Morris frequently returned to North Africa during the 1950s. Having spent a considerable amount of time there a few decades earlier, he was all too familiar with this part of the continent. In 1952, Morris travelled to the small town of Talmest in the Essaouira Province, Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz, Morocco. The precise purpose of his journey is currently unknown; however, it is likely he was in search of rare and exotic plants from which his own specimens could be propagated.
The present work is noticeably post-impressionist in tone, harking back to the paintings of Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) completed in Tahiti during the late-19th century. The expressionistic segmentation of colour is a compositional approach that Morris often employed and it is particularly prominent here. Contrasted with this is the quickly executed brushwork in the foreground that provides a playful balance to an otherwise static view. Morris’s unique tendency to paint sky as a series of methodically placed vertical strokes is evident here behind the deep blue mountain that dominates the centre-background. The effect of this establishes a textural juxtaposition that contributes to the controlled variety of surfaces. This is further reinforced by Morris’s impasto application of paint, which is emphasised by his quick and determined brushwork. It is apparent that Morris found in Talmest a location from which he could derive a great deal of visual inspiration. The exotic colours of the Moroccan highlands are superbly captured in the work, which could rival Henri Matisse (1869–1954) in its sense of tone and colour.