(Continued...) Miller had been an incredibly influential figure in the art world in the 30’s and 40’s. She helped develop the technique of solarisation with Man Ray, was painted by Picasso, and played the female lead (a statue) in Jean Cocteau’s first movie. She had started her professional career as an overnight-sensation fashion model, and soon became a fashion photographer too. In the war years she became a home-front photographer before moving onto the front line: she was one of the first photographers to witness the horrors of Dachau, and followed the troops into Munich, where she was pictured by her lover David Scherman having a bath in Hitler’s tub. After the war she toured Eastern Europe, still suffering the bloody and devastating aftermath of the conflict.

Roland Penrose, the English surrealist, was right at the centre of the British avant-garde art scene, and did much to introduce abstract art into this country, promoting surrealism and Cubism and the works of international artists such as Picasso, Miro, Dali, Ernst and Tapies, as well as home-spun talent like Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. He housed an important collection of surreal and Cubist works in Farley Farm. Antony grew up, then, in such a milieu. He remembers Man Ray fondly: ‘he had a wonderful American accent, like a Brooklyn gangster.’ “Picasso was good on hugs,” he recalls, “and smelled wonderfully of cologne and Gauloise.” Antony remembers Dora Maar painting a landscape from their front garden, but the house was used more for socialising than the creation of art. “It died down a bit after the sixties because everyone got older, but a new generation of artists who subsequently became hugely influential figures did frequently visit: the likes of Richard Hamilton, Kenneth Armitage, Eduardo Paolozzi, William Turnbull.” (continued...)

‘Lee Miller in Hitler’s Bathtub, Munich 1945’ by David E. Scherman
and Lee Miller © Lee Miller Archives, England 2006.
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