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Harlequinade by Clarke Hutton

Harlequinade by Clarke Hutton

Harlequinade seems to echo Hutton’s early interest in stage design and uses strong, simple colours. The characters were probably not known to children, but his print has lively movement with plenty of scope for childish imagination.

This work is part of the Prints for Schools series. The purpose of Prints for Schools was to provide schools and other public institutions with examples of work by good artists at a low cost. The lithographs were all of uniform size so that they could be interchangeable in a single frame or group of frames to allow them to be rotated. The contributing artists were chosen by a committee chaired by the art historian Herbert Read.

Despite the hardships which came with the end of the war and anxieties about the immediate future, the images chosen by the artists are colourful and reassuring for the most part focusing on familiar aspects of British life and culture. Published in 1946 and 1947, the series turns its back on the privations and tragedies of the war years and makes an optimistic statement about the future.