About this artwork

This work is a remarkable example of Scottish surrealism. It was painted at Hospitalfield, a country house in Angus that operated as an art college, where Pulsford was a student in the late 1930s. It shows a fellow student sitting on a table reading a book, oblivious to the two partially naked women behind him. The building is the Employment Exchange at Tollcross, Edinburgh, which Pulsford would have passed when he was a student at Edinburgh College of Art. Typical of surrealist paintings, Pulsford has included several unusual objects, including a mirror reflecting a bright blue sky dotted with white cloud, a skull, ladder and jug. There are similarities with Paul Delvaux’s surrealist work ‘Call of the Night’, which Pulsford may have seen when it was exhibited in London in 1938.

Updated before 2020

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  • artist:
  • title:
    Untitled (Surrealist Townscape)
  • date created:
    1939
  • materials:
    Oil on plywood
  • measurements:
    68.40 x 104.90 cm (framed: 71.70 x 107.70 x 5.50 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Presented by the artist's family 2012
  • accession number:
    GMA 5182
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • glossary:
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Charles Pulsford

Charles Pulsford

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