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Sir Howard Hodgkin – obituary

Sir Howard Hodgkin with As Time Goes By
Sir Howard Hodgkin with As Time Goes By Credit: Micha Theiner/City AM/Rex

Sir Howard Hodgkin, who has died aged 84, was a British artist of international renown whose paintings, though small in scale, resonated with glorious colour and deep feeling.

Impervious to the fashions and quotidian radicalism of much 20th century art, Hodgkin gradually created a body of work both visually arresting and intellectually challenging.

An unusually erudite and eclectic man, he traced his major influences from the French Intimists, Vuillard, Bonnard and Matisse. But it was an ancestry of feeling, of soft remembered emotions evoked by apparently artless subject matter and suggestive brushwork, rather than an ancestry of style. For never has a painter more adroitly epitomised Baudelaire’s definition of modernity as “the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent”.

Anthony Hill and Gillian Wise by Howard Hodgkin, 1964-66 Credit: Rebecca Lupton 2013

Howard Hodgkin was born in London on August 6 1932. His father was a noted horticulturalist and his ancestors included...

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