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The sweeping clouds, rumpled hills and sharp-edged brightness of Rita Angus’s Cass came together in a brilliant fusion of invention and accomplishment following a ten-day stay at the remote high country railway settlement in the autumn of 1936. Boosted by the company of fellow artists Louise Henderson and Julia Scarvell, and alert to the setting’s barren beauty, she had strong influences to draw on. Henderson, who had arrived from Paris in 1925 and taught at Canterbury College School of Art from 1927, was one. Other influences seen are Japanese woodblock prints and the art of the Northern Renaissance, both detected in the work’s overall sharp focus and decorative, flat, patterned sections.Some ten years after painting this work, Angus recalled the experience: [T]hose days of clear blue green skies, sun setting behind the dark hills, cold shadows … They were happy days. I long for a later return into the mountains. How little did I think then … that Cass would come to have any meaning to the painter.