David Jones
The Garden Enclosed 1924

Artwork details

David Jones 1895–1974
The Garden Enclosed
Date 1924
Medium Oil paint on wood
Dimensions Support: 356 x 298 mm
frame: 490 x 428 x 38 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1975
Not on display

Display caption

After he was received into the Roman Catholic church in 1921, Jones went to live with the artist Eric Gill and his family. The two figures in this picture represent Jones, and Gill's daughter Petra. The picture was painted to mark their engagement in June 1924, when Petra was not quite eighteen. The title alludes to the Song of Solomon, chapter 4, v.12 'A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse'. An enclosed garden is also frequently used as a symbol for the virginity of the Virgin Mary. The geese, sacred to the classical goddess Juno and associated with young girls, flee from the embracing couple, alarmed by their passion. The doll on the ground may symbolise lost childhood.

October 1999

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