Edward Halliday

Christian and Hopeful Arrive before the Celestial City

1926

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 912 x 1206 mm
frame: 1105 x 1405 x 80 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1994
Reference
T06872

Display caption

Halliday studied at Liverpool School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He submitted this painting for the British School at Rome Scholarship in Decorative Painting in 1925 and was awarded the scholarship, which was for three years study in Rome. The painting was accompanied by a large drawing, or cartoon, which showed the whole of the composition, with figures, trees and the celestial city set above the naked figures of Christian and Hopeful. The subject is taken from John Bunyan's book Pilgrim's Progress. After his time in Rome Halliday returned to Britain and painted three mural panels on the subject of the Greek goddess Athena for the Athenaeum Club Library in Liverpool.

Gallery label, September 2004

Technique and condition

This carefully executed oil painting is painted on a commerically prepared linen canvas, primed with a white oil primer.

The design was drawn out in soft graphite pencil before painting. The predominantly opaque colour mixes are applied evenly with few alterations in subtley modulated areas of brushed colour sufficiently thin that the drawing shows through. Later additions, such as the paper scrolls, were drawn in with pencil before painting.

The canvas has been stored rolled producing a series of vertical cracks and minor damages with smaller intervals towards the left suggesting that the canvas had been rolled from left to right. The canvas had been restretched onto a new wooden stretcher, given a thin coat of varnish and framed. On acquisition it was surface cleaned, minor damages retouched and the framing improved with the addition of low reflecting glass.

Roy Perry
1995