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Shepherd and Rocks, 1943, oil on board

Shepherd and Rocks

Oil on board
Lent by the Britten-Pears Foundation

During the Second World War, Craxton often painted solitary figures in menacing landscapes. He wrote ... before I went to Greece, I drew and occasionally painted many pictures of landscapes with shepherds or poets as single figures ... A shepherd is a lone figure, and so is a poet. I wanted to safeguard a world of private mystery, and I was drawn to the idea of bucolic calm as a kind of refuge.