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From the mid 1920s, Karl Hagedorn made sketching trips to the Mediterranean coasts of France and Spain, including one to Tossa de Mar, on the Costa Brava, in 1935. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, led him – along with several other artists – to turn his attention from Spain to Portugal. He is known to have spent time drawing in Nazaré, on the Atlantic coast, north of Lisbon, and on the southern coast of the Algarve. As at his favourite sketching ground of Hastings, in Kent, he was attracted to the activities of the fishermen. An article in The Studio Annual of Fine Art in Colour, of 1937, noted that ‘Recently in Portugal he found a beach similar to that at Hastings where boats were pulled ashore by a team of bullocks’ (page 36), and it is that beach, on the Algarve, that is shown in the present watercolour. A contributor to the magazine, The Artist, considered him ‘outstanding among the male contributors’ (page 140) to an exhibition of Portuguese subjects that was held in London in 1937, and opened by the Portuguese ambassador.