Swiss Boy

1939, oil on canvas on board

40 x 30 cm

Exhibited Society of Artists Sept 1940; Barefoot Gallery 1976


Arthur Murch wrote in 1975:

In 1939, Wallace Thornton and I were trapped in Switzerland by the outbreak of World War II. The police allowed us to camp in the park in Geneva but it was bitterly cold and we had no money. My shoes were worn out and let in the wet. I saw that they were doing up the road, so I had the workmen sole my shoes with bitumen. We painted portraits for 10/- a time, so they had to be done quickly. I made a careful outline, and painted the features separately, there wasn’t time to mould them together with shadows. It worked fairly well, I like this portrait of a Swiss boy. Compared to “Suzanne” which has a Van Dyck influence, it may look unfinished.