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(b London, 29 Mar. 1905; d Hastings, Sussex, 22 Oct. 1976). British painter, draughtsman, and stage designer, an eccentric and individual figure. He was ravaged by ill health continuously from childhood and lived almost all his life in the genteel Sussex seaside town of Rye (he called it an ‘overblown gifte shoppe’), but he travelled indomitably and had a tremendous zest for life. His career, in fact, represents a revolt against his respectable middle-class background, for he was fascinated by low-life and seedy subjects, which he experienced at first hand in places such as the streets of Harlem in New York and the dockside cafés of Marseilles.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)