Country Life

Seeking salvation

THE notes I jotted down when viewing this exhibition—enigmatic, joyless, stillness, soulless—seem a very negative response to a fascinating and absorbing show and, from what one learns about Tristram Hillier, stem from the circumstances of his boyhood rather than the individual works.

He was born in Peking, the fourth child of a banker who, on going blind at the age of 30, converted to Catholicism as an alternative to shooting himself. Tristram’s mother, with whom he

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