The divergence from external reality is confirmed in a letter to Colin Anderson, a patron of the artist, in which Sutherland described this countryside and how he had developed a method of working from it after his first visit in 1934.
It seemed impossible here for me to sit down and make finished paintings ‘from nature’.
While the theme of a tiny man dwarfed by nature was common in eighteenth century painting, Sutherland's transformation of the landscape into a eerie, primordial scene is distinctly modern.
Indeed, there were no ‘ready made’ subjects to paint.
The spaces and concentrations of this clearly constructed land were stuff for storing in the mind.
Oil on canvas 610 x 914 (24 x 36) Inscribed in black paint ‘Graham Sutherland’ b.l.
Inscribed on back of canvas in pencil ‘Welsh Landscape’ running vertically at right, and on top selvage ‘Welsh Landscape’ Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1946 Provenance: Purchased by the Contemporary Art Society from Rosenberg and Helft Ltd., London 1938 Exhibited: British Contemporary Art, Rosenberg and Helft Ltd., London, Jan.-Feb.
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In his review of the 1938 exhibition, Raymond Mortimer described the ‘over-lapping and scrambling of opulent colours’ and suggested that ‘the artist’s vision has extracted from Welsh landscapes oranges and pinks as sumptuous as those that forced themselves upon Gauguin in tropical Tahiti’. The difference between south Wales and the Pacific island would suggest that the critic’s point was a formal one, though the suggestion that Sutherland had drawn-out his colour while Gauguin’s was somehow necessary may be seen as a veiled criticism.