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

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 draftedÂ… and now had a desire to paint not human, but animal skulls. Â… Peter had decided that a sheepÂ’s head wasnÂ’t the right shape or size... What he envisioned was something like a horseÂ’s head, and he did rather keep on about itÂ… 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 skullÂ’. This was the Scottish National Gallery of Modern ArtÂ’s first acquisition of a work by Peter Rose Pulham, and represented a significant addition to one of the worldÂ’s great collections of Surrealist art.


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

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