ITHELL COLQUHOUN (1906–88) was a painter and writer whose works contributed greatly to the British Surrealist movement before and after the Second World War. Colquhoun's phantasmagoric landscapes, her psychically complex and penetrating portraits, hang on the walls of major galleries across the country.
The daughter of a civil servant in India, Colquhoun was born in Assam but was soon returned to England. She studied at Cheltenham Art School and the Slade School of Art, after which she took studios around Europe, studying under the likes of Paul Vézelay and André Breton.
In 1942 she married fellow surrealist Toni del Renzio. An acrimonious divorce in 1947 also saw Colquhoun informally separate from the Surrealist movement, leaving her free to explore her interest in mysticism, the esoteric and the occult. The results of this preoccupation are most evident in her writing, which includes the short novel Goose of Hermogenes (1961) and two earlier travelogues, The Crying of the Wind (1955) and The Living Stones (1957). She died in Lamorna, Cornwall.