This artwork is part of Ways of Seeing, a partnership between Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and the Government Art Collection. Ways of Seeing turns the borough into a gallery with 33 internationally renowned artisit displayed in 28 unexpected locations.
Noise, smells and chatter. There is a lot happening in James Fitton’s painting of a street market. In the middle is a fishmonger’s stall with silver sardines, yellow kippers and black shellfish. Wearing an apron and rubber gloves, the fishmonger holds a large knife. The woman in the blue hat is watching him carefully. What might she be about to say?
Fitton painted Market in 1947, two years after the Second World War. During the war, food was rationed, which meant that people could not always buy what they wanted. In Fitton’s painting, there are lots of things to buy and lots more to see.
South Grove Primary School is close to Walthamstow Market. It is more than 130 years old and is one of the longest street markets in Europe.
James Fitton was born in Oldham, Manchester. He went to Manchester School of Art. He moved to London in 1921 and worked as a magazine illustrator. He also designed posters for London Transport.
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