© John Hitchens
Male nude, kneeling, from behind
1961 (31 January)
Charcoal on paper
Given by G. Laurence Harbottle, 2000
Hitchens studied at the Royal Academy Schools and attended lectures by Charles Shannon and Sir William Orpen. He is best known as a painter of landscapes and still-lifes, but on three occasions in particular he executed a large number of figure drawings: when preparing work on a huge scale in his mural decorations for the Festival of Britain in 1951; the murals made at Cecil Sharp House (1950-54); and the mural Day's Work, Day's Rest in 1960 (installed at the University of Sussex in 1963). He used anyone willing to be a model, most regularly his wife, Mollie. The model here may be his nephew. It is a characteristic example of his drawing, executed with great economy, considerable speed and verve, and dated (in graphite) to the 31st of January 1961.