MOMENT OF DEATH, c.1946
Ink and watercolour on paper. 13½ x 12½in. (34.3 x 31.8cm.)
Purchased from the artist 1984: Paul Conran.
Bradford, Cartwright Memorial Hall, 1946 No. 198.
London, Hampstead Artists’ Council, 1946, no. 41.
Cambridge, Heffer Gallery, 1953, no. 27.
Colchester, The Minories, 1985.
The device of three vertical forms associated with a horizontal form is first seen in [Composition: Three Growing Forms] (1941) and also occurs in Gorgon (1946) and Guardian Angel (1946). It is only in the present work, however, that the horizontal form can be clearly identified as a supine human figure. In the present work, the vertical forms are to be read as some sort of emanations leaving the body at the moment of spiritual and physical transformation. Red and blue are the traditional hermetic colours of the male and female principles which come together to form life. The presence of yellow in indicates creation, or rebirth. Hermetically, it signifies the essential fire that sparks life and animates matter.