‘Trendrine, Cornwall’ was painted during a camping trip to Trendrine farm, near Zennor, in the summer of 1947. For this view, David Bomberg placed his easel in the field in front of the campsite, facing inland towards the hills. While the canvas appears abstract, the slope of the hill is suggested in the strong diagonals, and the landscape rises upwards towards a blazing sun on the horizon. Bomberg’s treatment of the Cornish countryside, and his use of crimsons, vivid oranges and acidic yellows, is reminiscent of the Mediterranean landscapes he had painted in Spain and Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s.
From 1945, much of Bomberg’s time was devoted to teaching at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Borough Polytechnic in London, but his trips to Devon and Cornwall in 1946 and 1947 helped reinvigorate his painting. Pictures such as ‘Trendrine, Cornwall’ exemplified his teaching, which stressed the need not just to study nature closely, but to also imbue it with one’s own personal vision and gesture.