Ian Hamilton Finlay Arcadia [collaboration with George Oliver] 1973

Artwork details

Artist
Ian Hamilton Finlay 1925–2006
Title
Arcadia [collaboration with George Oliver]
Date 1973
Medium Screenprint on paper
Dimensions Image: 355 x 437 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1974
Reference
P07025
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Arcadia is an area of Greece that is traditionally associated with an unspoilt rural paradise. In this print, Finlay draws an ironic parallel between this idea of a natural paradise and the camouflage patterns on a tank. There is also an echo of the Latin phrase ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’ (‘I too was in Arcadia’), used by the seventeenth-century French artist Nicolas Poussin in a painting of a group of shepherds discovering a tomb. Like Poussin, Finlay reminds us that death is present everywhere, even in paradise.

July 2008

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