ithell colquhoun magician born of nature
All texts copyright Richard Shillitoe

landscape of nightmare


Oil on panel. 8¾ x 11½in. (22 x 29.2cm.) Inscribed verso with the name, title and date. Provenance Purchased from the artist in 1984 by the present owner. Exhibited London, Mayor Gallery, 1947, (paintings), no. 9. Cambridge, Heffer Gallery, 1953, no. 7. Colchester, The Minories, 1985, no. 23. According to a statement by the artist quoted in the “Evening Standard” in 1947, the painting was induced by a stay at a reputedly haunted Welsh inn. A form, resembling a suppurating ulcer, opens in the landscape. This is not a gateway into the Underworld that one would wish to pass through – or out of which one would like things to emerge. The panel is a piece of mahogany-veneered pine wood, scavenged from an old item of furniture. A folder of nine drawings labelled ‘Landscape of Nightmare’ is at the Tate archive. It contains sketches for the background mountains and valley. One, on tracing paper, might have been used as the cartoon. Three counterparts for the decalcomania forms in the centre are with the NT.