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 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.

Provenance

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


Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

73/75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH4 3DR
0131 624 6200
Website

Opening times

Mon – Sun, 10am – 5pm Closed 25 & 26 Dec
(August - Mon – Sun, 10am – 6pm)

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