Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Evelyn de Morgan - The Vision 1914

titled with a cartouche and signed with initials l.r.: 1914/ E de M. 
oil on canvas
61 by 79cm., 24 by 31in.

ESTIMATE 20,000-30,000 GBP
Lot Sold: 25,000 GBP

Bought from St. Dunstans by Mrs Wilhelmina Stirling, the artist's sister, in 1919 for £5 and given to the De Morgan Foundation

Catherine Gordon (ed.), Evelyn de Morgan, Oil Paintings, 1996, pp.26, 82-83, cat. no. 88, illustrated pl.61

According to the exhibition catalogue of 1916, The Vision, 1914 depicts an allegory of WWI; 'The threatening horror dawning on Peace and Purity'. A young maiden crowned with a golden band decorated with vines and holding sheaves of barley is acompanied by the figure of Peace robed in red with a wreath of olive leaves in her hair and over her shoulder. The leaves are being dislodged by the swirling gusts of wind stirred by the malevolent figure of a batwinged bogie with flames in its hair, who represents the destruction of war. Despite the threat of war, the dawning sun calms the ocean and parts the cloud to suggest hope.

Evelyn de Morgan was inspired to paint several allegories of WWI, The Vision, 1914 being one of thirteen oil paintings sold for the benefit of the Red Cross in 1916, including The Search Light (private collection), The Red Cross (de Morgan Foundation), S.O.S. (de Morgan Foundation). The pictures were exhibited at a studio she had rented on Edith Grove in Chelsea.

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