Edward John Burra

The Watcher

About this artwork

Burra visited Spain on several occasions in the 1930s and was deeply impressed by the paintings by Goya and Bosch that he saw at the Prado museum in Madrid. However, although the extremist politics of the Spanish Civil War, that were intensifying in Spain and being felt around Europe, satisfied Burra’s interest in theatrical sensation, the increasing violence provoked a new turn in his work. Unusual for progressive artists of the period, Burra was pro-Franco, and his reaction to the violence was not ideological or moralistic but instead featured a sinister cast of characters - skeletons and menacing, cloaked figures, inhabiting a decaying world of ruined buildings - an exploration into the effect of the escalating violence and suffering on the people.

Edward John Burra

Edward John Burra