A surprising touch were several original paintings......

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Alex Coseff

Senior Member

I am not one hundred percent sure I got right the meaning of some words/collocations in the statement in italics.
I would be grateful if you could answer (confirm/refute/paraphrase) my questions.

G.M.Malliet: Wicked autumn
" A surprising touch were several original oil paintings, accomplished and abstract in execution, and drawn from a bold palette. The colours clashed badly, however, with the already overheated colour scheme."

1. Does the collocation a surprising touch refer to a surprising detail?
Thanks a lot:)
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