"The paintings of Harold Hitchcock are windows, opening out onto the world of wonderful dreams, magical forests of exotic trees, leaves and flowers, and of deep silences. There is a through-the-looking-glass wonderful quality about them that offers a haven to the weary spirit."
(Paul Gallico, Pulitzer Prize-winning author)
A renowned British master, related to George Stubbs, Harold Hitchcock paints visionary landscapes and prismatic still lifes. Harold Hitchcock has exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists, the Royal Academy of London, and the United States. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Art, and included in the Benezit dictionary of painters and Sculptors. His work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, the Hannen and Stoers Museum in Holland, the University of Louisiana, the Lidice Memorial Museum in Czechoslovakia, the University Library in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the Museum of Art in North Carolina.
In speaking of Hitchcock, Lord Kenneth Clark, noted art critic and author of Civilization, commented: "I am very much moved and impressed. It is rare to find an unashamedly romantic and literary artist. All criticism in the first half of this century was against them, so I not only admire Hitchcock’s poetical imagination, but also his courage in persevering in his true style."
Hitchcock's inspiration to paint came to him as a child when visiting his grandfather in Thundersley, Essex:
"At the end of this huge garden that my grandfather had, there were a number of giant elm trees. To a small child they were particularly majestic in the summer with their foliage in full bloom. I used to wake up in the early morning and wander down to the foot of the garden. The giant elm trees faced east. The sun used to rise up at the back of the trees, and with their tremendous expanse of foliage the rays of the sun would splay out in a huge arc. One particular morning I was watching this when I suddenly felt beside myself with joy. It was a very ecstatic feeling, and so intense, that I have to this day never really recaptured the feeling, though the influence remains very strong. It was that one moment that touched off something within me, and made me wish to recapture it through painting. There was a wonderful feeling of harmony and well-being and peace. In particular the sunlight on the bark and roots of the trees presented a scintillating, jewel-like vision of colour. I remember saying to myself that I would not rest until I had recaptured something of this vision or experience however vaguely."
"Carry on painting. You are destined to be a light unto others."
Hitchcock paints oils and watercolors. His themes are of imaginary countrysides, Arthurian figures, and water under the effect of the sun. The motifs and symbols in his work evoke feelings of connection to ancient myths and legends. It is a style that deftly melds lush, jewel-like colors with a masterful use of light sometimes dazzling, sometimes subtly subdued, but always the unifying principle of both his landscapes and still lifes. Harold Hitchcock awakens us to the grandeur, mystery and sublimity of nature and, in so doing, speaks to our deepest sensibilities - our desire for goodness and harmony and peace.
Harold Hitchcock's website is at haroldhitchcock.co.uk.
New Film & Book:
Long recognized in the UK and the US as a prominent twentieth-century artist, Harold Hitchcock is the subject of a documentary filmed at his studio and home in Devon, England and in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum chronicling his distinguished life and work as an artist. The documentary, Harold Hitchcock: Life in Light, is accompanied by a book of the same title.
Harold Hitchcock: A Romantic Symbol in Surrealism by Ian Williamson
Publisher: Walker & Company, New York 1982
All original artwork presented in this section is copyright © Harold Hitchcock and may not be reproduced without permission.
The painter Harold Hitchcock
Harold Hitchcock at his easel