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 At 16 he was enrolled in Battersea Polytechnic and the Clapham School of Art. By subsisting on odd jobs he visited the art galleries of Holland to study the paintings of the great masters. It was at this time that he met a champion of modern art and an enthusiastic collector, Lucy Carrington Wertheim. When he was 18-19 she became his patron, and he was paid £2 a week for “practically all the work I did-and I did a great deal”.

Lucy Carrington Wertheim was a Manchester woman who was a C20th English art enthusiast. Her book Adventure in Art contains references to David Gommon’s first one-man show and a reproduction of one of his paintings. Her book is mostly concerned with the Twenties Group that included Christopher Wood, Barbara Hepworth, Roger Hilton, Robert Medley and Victor Pasmore, her twenty year old protégés that she supported and promoted.

She used her own finances to support these young painters and devoted a huge amount of her time and energy to promoting them. She properly deserves to be better known and celebrated. It was through Mrs Wertheim that David Gommon held his first one-man show at her Burlington Gardens Gallery which attracted positive critical attention. Through Mrs Wertheim he also met other patrons of the Arts; Lilian Baylis at Saddlers Wells allowed him to work backstage where he painted the young dancers Margot Fonteyn and Robert Helpman.

In Mrs Wertheim's time most English collectors were not interested in their own countrymen’s work but preferred to patronize European painters. She found this frustrating and misjudged. Lucy Wertheim remained a friend of David Gommon all her life, and spoke at the opening of one of his last exhibitions at The Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry.

Titian, Rembrandt, Cezanne, William Blake and Samuel Palmer were David Gommon’s formative influences. In his first one-man show at Mrs Wertheim’s Burlington gallery his work was categorized as ‘Neo Romanticism’,(link to Wiki) a loosely based school of English painting that emerged in the 1930’s through a new found interest in Blake and Palmer. Fellow contemporaries who are associated with Neo Romanticism include Paul Nash, Henry Moore, John Piper, Graham Sutherland, Stanley Spencer and Eric Ravilious.

 In David Gommon’s paintings there are reflections and influences of the work of John Nash, especially The Cornfield 1918. John Nash's work reflects so strongly a deep sense of the rural Suffolk in which he lived. We see the influence of Stanley Spencer with whom David Gommon's paintings shared an expression of hope, happiness and love. This is clearly evident in his ‘Mrs Pooley resurrecting’. Paul Nash’s expression of the personality of nature and the magic of places can be seen in David Gommon’s animated trees and Dorset landscapes. With John Piper he shared a heightened sense of colour as well as a way of expressing latent threat in an otherwise tranquil landscape.

Neo Romanticism became unfashionable in the late 1950’s and its legacy did not re-emerge until later in the C20th through the work of a new generation of writers, painters and film makers.

Then, in 2012, David Hockney’s Bigger Picture exhibition showed his joyful landscape paintings which received critical acclaim and yet these paintings could be directly related to the work of earlier C20th Neo Romantic English painters. Some striking comparisons with David Gommon’s work can be made, in particular with Hockney’s hedgerows in springtime which share the same vibrant energy and colour palette.

An intense sense of place is one of the defining qualities and underlying ideas that links the Neo Romantic painters including David Gommon, and the west Yorkshire works of David Hockney. This sense of place gives English art its special defining character.