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Patrick Heron
The artist’s family


The Redfern Gallery, London, Patrick Heron, 3-25 October 1947, cat no.46 (not illus.)
'From Eagles Nest', Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, 1985 cat no. 26


Mel Gooding, Patrick Heron, Phaidon Press, London,
1994, pp.57 & 62 (illus. in colour p.58)


Heron’s earliest landscape painting in the years after WW II clearly demonstrate how strongly the influence of French Post-Impressionism, such as that of later Bonnard and Derain, was felt by a generation that had been removed from the mainstream of European art for the duration of the war. Painted in North Wales in August 1947, the expressive tension of Sunset, Abersoch, is built up through the contrasting simplicity of the composition and the varied handling of the medium. Wide, paint-loaded brushstrokes build up the central forms, whilst a more detailed manipulation of the surface pull into focus the necessary details which give life to the view of the quiet harbour at the end of the day. Heron was able to use this manner of painting to give us some of his most serene and contemplative figurative images, such as The Boats and The Iron Ladder (private collection), also of 1947.