Herculaneum Oil Tanks and Foreshore

Roderick Frederick Bisson, 1934 (inscribed)

WAG 10714

About this object

This is a semi-abstract variation of Bisson’s watercolour ‘Dingle Foreshore’ (WAG 10715), also in the Walker Art Gallery collection. Three oil tanks have now been added to the composition. In a style reminiscent of the French cubist Fernand Leger (1881-1955), Bisson’s natural objects are reduced to fluid curved shapes, while the oil tanks and brickwork retain their geometric forms.
Bisson may have absorbed elements of Surrealism when he visited galleries in Paris in the early 1930s. The shape of the boulders is echoed in the clouds, and the rippling outline of the blue landmass in the distance is repeated in the waves and the rock face on the right.

Bequest of the artist, 1988, No. 10714

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Roderick Frederick Bisson (British: English, born:1910, died:20 July 1987)
  • Date
    1934 (inscribed)
  • Materials
    Paper; Watercolour and pencil
  • Measurements
    38 x 54 cm
  • Physical description
    A semi-abstract and surreal variation of WAG 10715, of a view of oil tanks along the shore at Dingle, Liverpool. This watercolour painting shows a view from the shore towards the blue oil tanks at the Dingle Oil Terminal in distance, whose view is partially obscured, on the right, by a brick structure with a chimney, which in turn is slightly hidden behind a rock formation on the far right, creating layers of images. On the foreground are several large boulders, all smoothed into round shapes. The waves on the sea on the left are simplified into a series of serrated shapes, while the clouds are depicted as large yellow ellipses.
  • Related people
    Roderick Frederick Bisson (Artist/maker, previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 10714
  • Credit line
    Bequest of the artist, 1988.
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • Roderick Frederick Bisson

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1988
    Disposal method: Bequeathed to the Walker Art Gallery


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: [geometric drawing]
    Inscription method: Pencil
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Back
  • Inscription text: BISSON 1934
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower right; On plate
Object view = Fine Art
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