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Ralph Harris


The critic Bryan Robertson once described Vaughan’s paintings as representing 'an inhabited Arcadia that you can explore and enter' which stands as a marvellous description of this intensely atmospheric gouache and ink study. Produced while Vaughan was working as a German interpreter at a P.O.W. camp in Yorkshire, The Orchard reflects the strong influence of Graham Sutherland, with whom Vaughan had formed a close friendship at this time. The outcome is a highly charged mood that places it very much within the Neo-Romantic style that was such a force in English art of the mid-40s, a style that mirrored a mood of inward reflection and a revival of interest in 19th C British Romantic visionaries such as Blake and Palmer. And like them much of Vaughan’s output during this period consisted of gouaches, and ink drawings - indeed his first one-man show at Lefevre in 1944 (coincidentally the same year as this study), consisted entirely of works on paper.