The Collection

Pequod

Roger Hilton

Pequod

© Estate of Roger Hilton. All rights reserved, DACS 2013
License this image



Tab Label (see title)
ArtistRoger Hilton (1911-1975)
TitlePequod
DateApril 1967
MediumOil on canvas
Exhibition"Government Art Collection: Selected by Simon Schama: Travelling Light", Whitechapel Gallery, London, 16/12/2011-26/2/2012; "Revealed: Government Art Collection", Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 17/11/2012-24/2/2013 & Ulster Museum, Belfast 15/3-9/6/2013.
Dimensionsheight: 101.50 cm, width: 127.10 cm
Inscriptionsigned, dated & inscribed verso
AcquisitionPurchased from Waddington Galleries, February 1977
LocationUSA, New York, UK Mission to the United Nations
GAC number12780
 

Other works by this artist

View All

PaintingPainting

Oil on canvas

1959

GAC 16355/C

Tab Label (see title)

‘Pequod’ shows a small vessel, moored but bobbing up and down on an bright blue sea. Like many artists of his generation, Roger Hilton was drawn to Cornwall where he eventually settled in 1965. Marine forms including rocks, waves, boats and floating figures often appear in his works, which also reveal a debt to the paintings of Alfred Wallis (1855–1942), the gifted untrained Cornish artist.

In Hermann Melville’s 1851 novel ‘Moby Dick’, ‘Pequod’ was the name of Captain Ahab’s ship. The name was inspired by the Native North American Pequot Indians, a tribe who controlled the area around Mystic, Massachusetts, and who were decimated by Puritan militia in 1637. The name lends a sinister edge to Hilton’s painting. The boat’s black flag reminds us of a pirate’s skull-and-crossbones, a symbol of death. ‘Pequod’ was painted at a dark period of Hilton’s life when he was undergoing treatment for alcoholism. He once remarked that all art was ‘an attempt to exteriorise one’s sensations and feelings, to give them a form.’

Tab Label (see title)

This work contains the following subjects; choose a subject below to cross-refer to other works in the collection:

Similar works by subject:

St. Ives School

View all

Single Form (Eikon)Single Form (Eikon)

Bronze sculpture

1937-1938; cast 1963

GAC 6960

Green AbstractGreen Abstract

Screenprint

1958

GAC 7026

Spate IIISpate III

Acrylic on canvas

1965

GAC 7092

Conoid, Sphere and Hollow IIIConoid, Sphere and Hollow III

Marble sculpture

1937

GAC 7368

Green NightGreen Night

Screenprint

GAC 7645

Tab Label (see title)
Tab Label (see title)
Tab Label (see title)

Roger Hilton

Roger Hilton was born in Middlesex. He studied at the Slade School of Art during the early and mid 1930s and at the Académie Ranson in Paris. His first solo exhibition was held at the Bloomsbury Gallery in 1936. He joined the army in 1939 and was a prisoner of war until 1945. Around 1950, Hilton turned to abstract art, after seeing Mondrian’s work in Paris and Amsterdam. He visited Newlyn in Cornwall while teaching at the Central School of Art and Design in the mid 1950s and finally moved to Cornwall in 1965, joining the St Ives Group. A major retrospective was held at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1993, followed by a drawing survey at Tate St Ives in 1997.