Publications

The Sun is God

The Life and Work of Cyril Mann (1911-80)
John Russell Taylor, 1999
Hardback 168 pages
Publisher: Lund Humphries Publishers in association with Piano Nobile Fine Paintings
ISBN: 0-85331-769-0
Dimensions: 25 x 30 x 2.5 cm
£40

Cyril Mann has far too long remained one of the unsung heroes of modern British art. Born in 1911, he became the youngest ever person to win a scholarship to the Nottingham School of Art. He then moved to Canada where he met and worked with Arthur Lismer and other members of the Group of Seven, before returning to London where he studied at the Royal academy Schools and later he taught at the LCC Central School of Art.

 

This lavishly illustrated book is the first full-length biographical and critical study of Mann and brings together some of the finest examples of his work. Many depict striking scenes from post-war London life, whilst others concentrate on his fascination with natural objects, which include nudes, flowers and fruit. Described simultaneously as 'difficult' and 'charismatic', Mann was a boldly innovative painter, following no recognised artistic school, fashion or style. Written by John Russell Taylor, the renowned art critic for The Times, this book is an invaluable visual and literary source on a visionary British artist. 

 

Critics have often struggled to categorise Mann into one particular school of artists. His early works had strong expressionistic qualities, whilst later pieces seem to have an affinity with the semi-surrealist approach of the English Neo-Romantics, developing from straightforward landscape to sun-obsessed symbolism. However, his work is ultimately characterised by a visionary energy focusing on the dynamic effects of light and shadows.