John Latham
Burial of Count Orgaz 1958

Artwork details

John Latham 1921–2006
Burial of Count Orgaz
Date 1958
Medium Canvas, plaster, spoon, sponge, books, bottle, gas light fitting, gas pipes and other materials
Dimensions Object: 1219 x 914 x 216 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1976
Not on display

Display caption

This work is based on El Greco's 1586 painting of the same title. Latham was impressed by the way El Greco had depicted two states of being in the same picture. El Greco shows the Count of Orgaz being entombed and, above that scene, being received into Heaven. In paraphrasing El Greco's work, Latham was announcing his own preoccupation with the idea of a unified universe. From 1958 Latham began to incorporate books as sculptural elements in his work. Here, books are used in combination with other objects including a sponge, whisky bottle, fireguard 'and a flintstone for God'. An old bagatelle board suggests the curved shape of the El Greco.

September 2004

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