Charles Ricketts

Orpheus and Eurydice

c.1905–7

Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
Object: 337 x 241 x 152 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Francis Howard through the National Loan Exhibitions Committee 1914
Reference
N03005

Display caption

According to Greek mythology, Orpheus, the son of Apollo, rescued his wife Eurydice from death on condition that he did not look at her as she escaped. Inevitably he turned towards her and they kissed. Ricketts captures this passionate moment before Eurydice vanishes and Orpheus is left isolated and alone. The image thus concerns the slavery of attraction, as well as the temptation that Woman represented.

Gallery label, February 2004

Catalogue entry

N03005 ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE c. 1905–7

Inscr. ‘C R’ on back of base.
Bronze, 13 1/4×9 3/4×6 (33·5×24×15).
Presented by Francis Howard through the National Loan Exhibitions Committee 1914.
Coll: Purchased by Francis Howard from the artist 1914.
Exh: International Society, January–March 1907 (91); A Century of Art, Grafton Galleries, June–July 1911 (118); International Society, autumn 1914 (among works purchased for presentation to the Tate).

A painting of the same subject, but different in composition, was lent to the R.A., Late Members, 1933, by Sir Edmund Davis (339).

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II