Horse's Skull, Sphere and Moon by Peter Rose Pulham

This painting is one of few surviving surrealist works by Peter Rose Pulham after his studio was hit by a German bomb in 1941.


Oil on canvas
51 x 76 cm
Art Fund grant:
£6,000 ( Total: £12,000)
Acquired in:
Austin Desmond Fine Art

We have a fascinating insight into the circumstances surrounding the production of this painting from the diary of the cookery writer Theodora FitzGibbon, who shared a flat with the artist in the early years of the Second World War: 'Naturally he [Pulham] wanted to get as much painting done as possible before he was drafted… and now had a desire to paint not human, but animal skulls. … Peter had decided that a sheep’s head wasn’t the right shape or size... What he envisioned was something like a horse’s head, and he did rather keep on about it… During the course of this Saturday afternoon we soaked, washed, scrubbed, even cleaned the teeth, which we found lifted in and out, of the noble skull’. This was the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s first acquisition of a work by Peter Rose Pulham, and represented a significant addition to one of the world’s great collections of Surrealist art.


Private collection, 2005. The gallery has completed an Art Loss Register search.

Venue details

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 73/75 Belford Road, EDINBURGH Edinburgh EH4 3DR 0131 624 6200

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Sun – Sat, 10am – 5pm Closed 25 & 26 Dec