I understand
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1911 – 1975

Untitled (figure in yellow ground)
Oil on canvas
61 x 50.8 cm
Accepted in lieu of inheritance tax by HM Government from the collection of Dr. T. W. Sutherland, 1992 © The Estate of Roger Hilton. All rights reserved, DACS 2017. Photography Norman Taylor


Hilton was a prominent member of the St Ives colony of artists. This is one of his last oil paintings as he entered a period of ill health. Despite this, the work has a great sense of uninhibited energy with its spontaneous interplay of charcoal lines and bright, unblended areas of colour.

Hilton commented on his palette: ‘I like my colours dynamic and strongly contrasted. After all, one prefers something alive to something dead. The more alive a person or a picture, the better they are.’