TWO PIERCED HEARTS, c. 1938
Watercolour and silver ink. 13¾ x 10in. (35.4 x 25.4cm.)
National Trust Bequest
Love as a conjunction of opposites: the sword contrasts with Cupid’s arrow and the garland of flowers opposes the garland of barbed wire.
The image combines two traditional Catholic devotional images which symbolise compassion for Humanity: the sacred heart of Mary, a heart usually depicted ringed by roses or lilies and pierced by a sword, and the sacred heart of Jesus, entwined with thorns and sprouting flames.
A photograph of this work, uncaptioned and undated, is at TGA 929/9/41 together with photographs of other works, none of which date from later than 1939. In common with the others, it is faded and professionally mounted on a foxed pasteboard mount. It is probable that it is contemporary with the others. It appears to post-date the period of naturalistic flower paintings and to predate the appearance of automatism. A date in the second half of the thirties seem appropriate. The year 1938 is suggested here as it shares the theme of a bleeding heart with the chalk object Heart (1938).