Keith Vaughan: Four Boys Bathing, 1975


Pencil on Paper
Sutdio stamp lower left
18 x 19 cm
Dated in ink and inscribed ‘16 September/75’ in the artist’s hand, upper right
Framed in oak

Professor John Ball, Private collection

Keith Vaughan: Four Decades of Drawing, Gallery 27, Cork Street, 2010
Art for Life: Jonathan Clark Fine Art, London, 2009

Gerard Hastings, Keith Vaughan: Four Decades of Drawing, Ex. Cat., Gallery 27, 2010

This late, lighthearted figure drawing does not reflect Vaughan’s lowered emotional state at that time. It probably depicts figures bathing at Harrow Hill Cottage, Vaughan’s Essex home. When friends, such as David Hockney and Patrick Procktor came to visit, a dip in the garden pool was de rigueur. Vaughan was recuperating from a kidney operation and his spirits were low; he was suffering from a dull ache at the base of his spine. His journal entry on the day he executed this drawing reads:

Tuesday, 16 September, 1975:
Only another 12 days and then I go back to Belsize Park. For better or worse. Could hardly be worse…I do some painting – in despair – with little success.

Two days later he was to discover a polyp that turned out to be cancerous.