Cecil Collins The Promise 1936

Artwork details

Artist
Cecil Collins 1908–1989
Title
The Promise
Date 1936
Medium Oil paint on plywood
Dimensions Support: 508 x 610 mm
frame: 555 x 660 x 40 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1972
Reference
T01692

Display caption

Collins often used light and darkness to symbolise the forces of good and evil. This picture depicts the world at night, and the ‘promise’ of the title refers to the coming dawn, heralding possibilities of birth and growth. It shows a section of seashore, cut open to reveal seeds, shells and chrysalises lying in the earth. Two charges of energy burst forth like radiant flowers from the earth’s surface, their rays energising the dormant forms below. Briefly linked with Surrealism, Collins showed a closely related work at the International Surrealist Exhibition in 1936.

July 2008

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