Catalogue entry

Ceri Richards b. 1903

T00802 La Cathedrale engloutie (arabesque 3) 1961

Inscr. ‘Top La Cathedrale Engloutie (Arabesque 3 Ceri Richards 1961’ on the stretcher.
Canvas, 60 x 60 (152 x 152).
Presented by Frances Richards 1965.
Coll: Given by the artist to his wife.
Exh: Venice Biennale, 1962 (77 British Pavilion) and British Council European tour (see above No. T.798); Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, March 1964 (3).
Repr: David Thompson, Ceri Richards, 1963, n.p. in colour.

Ceri Richards, who has a great admiration for the music of Debussy, first began to make a series of works inspired by Debussy’s piano prelude ‘La Cathedrale Engloutie’ in 1957. This example is the third of a small group within the series subtitled ‘Arabesque’. The artist wrote (11 March 1966): ‘The Tate example is similar in many ways to ‘Arabesque 2’ [1959; collection Bryan Robertson], but all three are lyrical - suggesting water eddies defining layers of water depths as well as movement - more lyrical than most of the ‘Cathedrale Engloutie’ Series (except for smaller ones) which very often match instructions for mood printed in Debussy’s piece of this title.’

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1965–1966, London 1967.