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This work titled The Withypool was painted by Cedric Morris in 1929, soon after he relocated from London to The Pound in Suffolk. The landscape views Morris painted in the late 1920s and early 1930s are among his most direct and intuitive works.



By 1929 Morris had gained a considerable reputation as a painter of still-life and landscape scenes and the year before was represented in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. That same year he staged a sell-out show at Arthur Tooth & Sons and the following month exhibited thirty-eight paintings at the Koninklijke Kunstzaal Kleykamp in The Hague. By 1930 Morris had, according to one commentator, become ‘the rage’.[1]



Morris and his partner Arthur Lett-Haines, however, were beginning to tire of city life and Morris was growing increasing frustrated with the galleries who represented him. In early 1929 Morris and Lett took a lease of The Pound, a sixteenth century farmhouse in the village of Higham in...

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This work titled The Withypool was painted by Cedric Morris in 1929, soon after he relocated from London to The Pound in Suffolk. The landscape views Morris painted in the late 1920s and early 1930s are among his most direct and intuitive works.



By 1929 Morris had gained a considerable reputation as a painter of still-life and landscape scenes and the year before was represented in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. That same year he staged a sell-out show at Arthur Tooth & Sons and the following month exhibited thirty-eight paintings at the Koninklijke Kunstzaal Kleykamp in The Hague. By 1930 Morris had, according to one commentator, become ‘the rage’.[1]



Morris and his partner Arthur Lett-Haines, however, were beginning to tire of city life and Morris was growing increasing frustrated with the galleries who represented him. In early 1929 Morris and Lett took a lease of The Pound, a sixteenth century farmhouse in the village of Higham in Suffolk. Here they established a paradise for artists and gardeners with beds of colourful flowers, ponds and exotic birds. Famed for their parties, Morris and Lett would entertain a diverse group of friends over the years including artists like Frances Hodgkins and John Skeaping. Free from the constraints of city life and alive with the energy and enthusiasm that only fresh air and countryside could provide, Morris set about painting some of his most characterful landscapes.



On the basis of the colouring seen in this work it seems likely that it was painted in the autumn of 1929 and was perhaps painted in Dorset near Corfe where Morris’s sister Nancy lived and where Morris and Lett had previously lodged. Morris was never concerned with topographical accuracy and instead his landscape views were only ever intended to be atmospheric recollections of places he visited and views that appealed to him.



The present work was owned by the British novelist, publisher and critic Alec Waugh (1898-1981) and was sold by one of his descendants in 2018.

[1] Anon., 1930. Cedric Morris: Painter Who is ‘the rage’. The Scotsman, 6 March – 13 May. In Morphet, R.., Cedric Morris, exhibition catalogue, 28 March – 13 May. Tate, London, p. 32.

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500 Years of British Art