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Zennor Rock – Rose II
© Barns-Graham Charitable Trust

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Zennor Rock – Rose II 1953

On Display Modern One

  • Scottish Art
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham’s paintings respond to geological formations and the natural environment, from seaside rocks to glaciers. This painting belongs to a group of studies inspired by the rock formations at Zennor, near St. Ives. The artist had a studio there and worked among the active artistic community in the area. In this painting, the paint has been scraped to produce a textured surface. This reveals the pencil lines underneath, which show that the work has been structured using geometrical proportions. The flattening of the picture space underlines the abstract nature of the painting, yet although abstract, Barns-Graham’s work takes the rhythms and forms of nature as its primary inspiration.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.

Picture Space

The illusionary space created within a two dimensional work of art.

Abstract art, Picture Space


  • Acc. No. GMA 3482
  • Medium Oil and pencil on wood
  • Size 22.90 x 28.50 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by Miss Elizabeth Watt 1989