As he was approaching his later years, the artist felt that he should make a 'last painting'. Inspired by the multi-dimensional ballet of Petrouschka by Stravinsky, he set to work sketching out characters and themes, eventually creating three illustrative paintings. There are multiple sketches in the preparation of these paintings, he seemed to have been thoroughly engaged with the ideas and their development into these three works.The first is the scene of the 'Shrovetide Fair' or Mardi Gras, which sets the scene for the puppeteer, 'charlatan' or magician. Here the puppeteer is presenting the show to the audience, the music of ballet weaves theme tunes of dancers (based on original folk songs) and the magician appears after a series of resounding drum rolls. As a story, Petroushka's equivalent is 'Punch and Judy' - the key theme of violence and wife-beating was made elegant in Stravinsky's work, but essentially the roots of the story are the same.In spite of his intention to retire from painting once these were complete, he continued to live and made further work - a similar (unfinished) project on Peer Gynt, the illustration of 'Susanah and the Elders' and 'American Diplomacy'.