Skip to main content Skip to navigation

The Marvellous House by Albert Herbert

The Marvellous House by Albert Herbert
Accession Code: wu0413w
Title: The Marvellous House
Date completed:
Medium: Painting
Location Name: Westwood
Location Description: Teaching Centre

The Marvellous House appears at first glance to be a simple, direct composition. Yet a closer look at the canvas reveals a subtle complexity both in technique and subject matter. The abandonment of chiaroscuro calls attention to the mysterious, almost mystical resonance of the subject matter as well as the careful application of paint. An indigo background suffuses the house with a pale, almost ethereal glow, emphasising the commingling of delicate brushstrokes of colour. Indistinct, ghost-like figures haunt the foreground of the canvas creating a mood both enchanting and oddly eerie. Herbert's work bears comparison to the paintings of Graham Sutherland and John Piper. Both these artists are involved in teasing out the intersecting ground between representation and spiritual expression. Sutherland's use of primitive, pared down forms is particularly in line with The Marvellous House. The painting's intricate surface also echoes the subtle textural variations in the work of Anotoni Tapies.