Kit Smart’s BlogBack to blog index

Back to blog index

Primrose Hill comes to Pembroke

Sir Richard Dearlove recently finished his term as Pembroke’s Master, and on his departure he and Lady Dearlove left a number of gifts to the College.

One of these was a sketch by the German-born artist Frank Auerbach. The Telegraph has called Auerbach ‘one of our greatest living painters’ and The Guardian declared him ‘a painter’s painter of horrors and joy’.

The sketch shows a view of Primrose Hill in London.


In an accompanying letter, Auerbach says: ‘I first worked from drawings on this subject in 1960–61 and returned to the subject … in 1971. I am almost certain it is to the 1971 painting that the drawing refers.’

Recently Updated3
Image (clockwise from top left): Paintings of Primrose Hill 1960, 1930, 1971, 1967.

For this painting, Auerbach worked in his typical way – sketching outside daily to get a feel fro the project, discarding any studies that have no merit on their own account and painting slowly. Several other sketches of the same scene are now in the collections of the Tate Gallery.

For more information about Auerbach, see William Feaver’s 2009 book.

Back to blog index