‘That summer Jack Hazan started making his film, A Bigger Splash. I was working on Sur la Terrasse; I’d made drawings and taken photographs for it when I went to Morocco with Celia and Peter for two weeks in February. The scene in life is full of romantic allusions: Peter on a balcony, gazing at a luscious garden and listening to the evening noises of Marrakesh. George Chinnery’s painting, the Balcony, Macao, was certainly in my mind at the time. The moment we arrived at the hotel in Morocco – we had a bedroom with this beautiful balcony and view – I immediately thought it would make a wonderful picture. So I deliberately set up Peter in poses so that I could take photographs and make drawings. When I came back, while I was doing the Webster picture (a commissioned portrait of David Webster, CEO of the Royal Opera House between 1945-70), I began the painting…After Morocco, we’d gone to Madrid, my first time, to see Velasquez pictures. I found the Goyas more stunning … In the summer, when I had finished Sur la terrasse, we went to France and Spain: Peter, Ossie, and Celia, Mo, George Lawson and Wayne Sleep, Maurice Payne, who came along in another car with etching plates, and Mark Lancaster. 
Hockney recalls above the events surrounding the creation of Peter on a Balcony which is a study for his oil painting Sur la Terrase, 1971. This drawing is a wonderful example of Hockney’s mastery of coloured pencil and illustrates perfectly his ability to capture the essence of a scene so succinctly. In this work there is an acute sense of falling light which casts a vibrant blue shadow across the balcony floor, lighting the trees and Peter's shirt in hues of grass green and pastel pink. Typically, like many of Hockney’s drawings of people, there is a wonderful sense of intimacy in this work, as if a fleeting moment has been caught in time. The work depicts Peter Schlesinger, Hockney’s long-term love, just before the breakdown of their relationship and his pose as he stands with his back to artist suggests a deeper, symbolic resonance to the scene.
1 Ed. Nikos Stangos, David Hockney by David Hockney My Early Year, Thames & Hudson, 1988, p239
Acquired directly from the artist by Marguerite Littman
Nikos Stangos (ed.), David Hockney, Pictures by David Hockney, Thames and Hudson, London, 1979 illus colour, p82
Nikos Stangos (ed.), David Hockney, David Hockney by David Hockney, My Early Years, Thames and Hudson, London, 1988, cat no.254
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