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Provenance

Mr S Kennedy, UK

Description

By temperament shy and something of a ‘loner’, Meninsky’s art, by contrast, always appears enormously bold and full of what his great friend and former student Morris Kestleman R.A. once nicely described as a sense of 'attack' and a 'feeling for construction, almost a sculptors mode of thinking'. These are qualities very evident in this monumental and lyrical work in which Meninsky’s passion for the Florentine Renaissance, and Masaccio in particular, fuses with an entirely 20th century understanding of Cezanne, Maillol and Picasso. More unexpected still, given Meninsky’s Anglo-Jewish background - he was of the same generation as Bomberg, Gertler and Kramer - is the sympathy a work like this also reveals for that more ecstatic, elegiac strain of romantic work stemming from the art of Blake and Palmer. It is this unlikely mix of anachronistic and contemporary concerns that has always made it difficult to place Meninsky within any neat stylistic pigeon-hole, the effect of which, even now, places him on the sidelines of Modern British painting. Yet the richness of colour and wonderful draughtsmanship evident in this painting creates, as his friend, the painter Hans Feibusch has aptly described it, 'an art of lonely desperate grandeur' that will surely receive proper critical recognition over the next decade or so.