Alan Sorrell

Imaginative Work

More directly personal were Alan Sorrell’s imaginative paintings, with their evocative titles—’The Facade’, ‘The Fallen Emperors’, ‘The Stone Men’, Agamemnon’s Homecoming’, ‘Via Appia’ , ‘An Ancient Place’. Many of these derived, in his own words, ‘from a mysterious or haunting experience’; often, they represent a mature re-handling of the themes and thoughts long dormant: ‘Via Appia’, for instance, drew its inspiration from an experience of his student days in Rome; ‘Agamemnon’s Homecoming’ from drawings made at Mycenae; and ‘The Facade’, which shows squatters dwelling meanly in a splendid ruin, almost certainly sprang from an observation of his RAF days, of the incongruous juxtaposition of ancient and temporary buildings. A strong characteristic of these paintings, in its starkness and drama, links them inevitably with is archaeological drawings. Once again, one realises how central to his work was the attitude with informed his archaeological reconstructions, and how deeply it was interfused in his imagination almost from the beginning.


Biography by Mark Sorrell.

Adapted from the introduction to “Reconstructing the Past” by Alan Sorrell, edited by Mark Sorrell (see publications page).

“The Dark Tower”


w/c, gouache, sepia

21” x 27”

“Falling  Tower”


19” x 24”

“The Assault”


Mixed on paper

20” x 30”


This painting remained unfinished on his easel when Alan Sorrell died in December 1974. As a member of CPRE, he was highly active campaigner for the preservation of the trees and woodlands surrounding where he lived on Daws Heath, near Southend. Much of the locality is now a nature reserve run by the Essex Wildlife Trust.

“Idol in the Forest”


Mixed on paper

21” x 15”

“Trembling Earth”



30” x 36”

“The Stone Men”




Contact details:


Contact Julia Sorrell on:

01953 498736





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