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David Hockney had just graduated from the Royal College of Art, and was enjoying a new wave of confidence; it was at this time, he felt, 'I became aware as an artist.' That summer, in an article for Ark, the RCA journal, Dick Smith remarked, 'Hockney as a personality is bound up with his paintings. The paintings serve as letters, or diary jottings or mementoes; the figures are portraits; events portrayed did happen.' Meanwhile, Hockney was en route to Italy with his friend, Jeff Goodman, when just such an event gave rise to the seminal sequence of paintings among which the present piece is counted. On a visit to the Pergamon, Berlin, they got separated. Hockney recalls, 'Suddenly I caught sight of him standing next to an Egyptian sculpted figure, unconcerned about it because he was studying something on the wall.
oil on canvas
H 147.3 x W 152.4 cm
purchased from R. B. Mayer, Chicago, 1971