Artists of Primrose Hill

Those who organise London walks might like to consider some trails around North London for students of 20th Century British (and even Irish) art.Yesterday,in the Spring sunshine,a short walk took me past Fitzroy Road,where Jack Yeats was born;past St Mark’s Crescent,where William Roberts lived for a long time (and also Rodrigo Moynihan and his wife,Eleanor Bellingham-Smith for a while);and on to that strange temple to folk music,Cecil Sharp House.Inside I was able to see the enormous mural by Ivon Hitchens,which was unveiled on 1st July 1954,following the reconstruction of the building after bomb damage in 1940.It isn’t easy to see what it is all about.According to information on the Tate website (they hold a cartoon drawing for part of the mural) it was,at the time of its completion,the largest work of its kind in the country,measuring 16×69 feet.Apparently its 11 sections show an Arcadian landscape,incorporating figures performing four English country dances.Those going to see it would be well advised to read about it beforehand as there is no information available on site.

On this occasion I didn’t go any further,but not far away in Camden I would have come to Auerbach’s studio.Had I reversed my route and gone up Haverstock Hill,I should soon have come to Downshire Hill,where various artists lived(forexample,Uhlman and Roland Penrose) and so on.