Study for 'The Breakdown'

Study for 'The Breakdown' , 1926

John Bulloch Souter

Artist:John Bulloch Souter
Aberdeen, Scotland, 1890 - 1971

charcoal on buff paper

This is the only known original composition study for a major painting by Souter entitled 'The Breakdown'. The oil painting featuring a black jazz musician and a nude white dancer and caused great controversy when it was exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1926.

It seemed to symbolise the fall of the British Empire and the breakdown of society, in the interwar period. The painting was removed from display by the Royal Academy and sent back to the artist; subsequently, Souter destroyed the picture.



Purchased in 2016 with the aid of a grant from the National Fund for Acquisitions.
Artist © Elcy Broadhead (2007)
Sight Size: 23.5 × 30cm Frame Size: 43.2 × 49.2cm
Acc. No. ABDAG017849

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