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Figure against a blue background



Keith Vaughan


23 Aug 1912 – 04 Nov 1977

  • Details

    Other Title
    Study for a Transfiguration
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on canvas
    91.5 x 91.5 cm stretcher; 106.5 x 105.7 x 3.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r., blue paint "Vaughan". Not dated.

    Purchased 1960
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Keith Vaughan/DACS. Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Keith Vaughan

    Works in the collection


  • About

    'Figure against a blue background' was closely linked with another painting of the same period, ['Fourth assembly of figures' 1956] now in the Nottingham Museum, originally titled 'Transfiguration group'. Subsequently I altered the titles of both paintings to remove any religious associations, which were never intended. From my point of view the painting is of interest because it was the first time I succeeded in controlling a looser, more spontaneous and fluent style of painting, and uniting figurative and abstract elements in the same composition. While realising the dangers involved in this, I had nevertheless long felt compelled to try and find a common ground for unifying the two elements and reconciling the conflict implicit in the concept of man in his environment (a reconciliation purely in plastic terms and not in illustrative or descriptive terms).
    Letter from the artist 14.11.1960

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 7 publications

  • Provenance

    The Leicester Galleries, 1958, London/England

    The Matthiesen Gallery, Mar 1960, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Matthiesen Gallery 1960. Purchased from the exhibition 'Recent paintings by Keith Vaughan' 26 February - 19 March 1960

Other works by Keith Vaughan