J.G.S. Herbert Allegorical Still-Life date not known

Artwork details

J.G.S. Herbert active 1862
Allegorical Still-Life
Date Date not known
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 629 x 781 mm
frame: 815 x 980 x 75 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1969
Not on display

Display caption

This is one of several pictures by a little-known painter who specialized in juxtaposing symbols of earthly decay with visions of a spiritual world. In the foreground is a burial mound with a Latin inscription from Juvenal's Seventh Satire in praise of 'honoured tutors' whose urn is to be surrounded by flowers and eternal spring. In the left background is a heavenly city dominated by three crucifixes, one above the other. Juvenal's lines on schoolmasters are part of a general attack on the materialism and dissolution of Imperial Rome. Herbert is presumably making a similar criticism of nineteenth-century England and expressing the need for spiritual, specifically Christian, values.

March 1996

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