The spikey dreaminess of John Craxton’s 1943 work above evidences contrasting emotions illuminated by Palmeresque hills and sickle moon in the background. Craxton and his fellow gay artist, John Minton, for me the leading lights of the post war ruralist scene, certainly showed at least in their early work that Palmer was not forgotten as is evidenced below in the delightful 1944 work by Minton, Landscape with harvester resting.
Motifs beloved of their early hero are self evident, with themes of harvest and nature, although the monochrome palette employed is not without incipient melancholy, and the whole with overtones of abstraction. We hope to have loaned examples of Craxton’s work in our 2020 show as well as Minton, Keith Vaughan and others. This phase of introspection did not persist for ever, and the late 1940s and 1950s saw a warming of their palette, and a more positive Mediterranean light appear as in this 1947 Craxton work.
This escape to a foreign idyll from a war ravaged and bombed home landscape and a time of post war rationing was a surprising pervasive theme of the period, expressed in craft as well as art of the 5os and 60s. We hope that our Mid Century Romanticism show for next May/June will capture in some small way, something of these themes.