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Carved Figure and Shell

SMITH, Sir Matthew (1879 - 1959)

Carved Figure and Shell

Date: 1955

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 71.8 x 91.8 cm

Acquired: 1963; Bequest; Margaret Davies

Accession Number: NMW A 2055

Collection: The Davies Sisters Collection

During the 1950s Smith was celebrated for his powerful colours and painterly handling as the greatest British exponent of 'pure painting'. His influence on younger artists such as Francis Bacon was considerable. This late work reveals Smith's fascination with the still lives of Braque and Cézanne; the plaster figure is probably a direct reference to the latter's Still Life with Plaster Cupid (Courtauld Institute Galleries, London). Margaret Davies purchased it in 1960.

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