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Lawrence suffered since childhood from a number of physical ailments. Thus, he spent much of his adult life convalescing in far-flung locales like Australia, Germany and even Taos, New Mexico, before settling in Italy. It was there that in 1926 the already infamous author of “The Rainbow” and “Sons and Lovers” received a gift from Maria Huxley, wife of fellow scribe Aldous. It was a package of canvasses. Neither Huxley nor Lawrence could have imagined at the time those canvasses would become an essential, scandalous and ultimately insightful part of the ailing author’s final years.
Lawrence had always loved art, but his formal training stopped as a school boy in the late 19th century, and even then those lessons amounted to little more than a few doodles. They also imbued Lawrence with the distinct feeling of failure. “I quite early decided I ‘couldn’t draw.’ I couldn’t draw, so I could never do anything on my own.” Any work he produced over the next few decades were simply copies. A gift in 1902 of 6 of the “English Water-colour: with Reproductions of Drawings by Eminent Painters” helped him hone his hand and eye, but his heart at the time remained with the written word. “I am a writer, I ought to stick to ink. I have found my medium of expression,” he remembered thinking.
...Lawrence’s paintings became a visual outgrowth of his literary career, and addressed many of the same themes: the often tenuous relationship between the sexes, the alienation and anxiety produced by the industrial revolution and the intense need for sexual and social freedom. And like his novels, the images, raw and many of them nude, sparked massive outrage in the moralistic early 20th Century. His first and only show, held in June1929 at London’s Warren Gallery, almost instantly became the talk of a scandalized town.
The Observer at the time called the sexually-charged exhibit “frankly disgusting,” while The Daily..." http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/178866/when-dh-lawrence-was-nsfw/