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During the 1930s Weight was interested in fairy stories and images which kindled the imagination. 'Allegro Strepitoso' was inspired by memories of childhood visits to London Zoo accompanied by his mother. A photograph of Weight's mother adopting a position of agitation provided the pose for the lady in red. Weight wanted to execute a comic painting and became fascinated with making the lion appear to spring out of the cage. The title of the painting was suggested by a musical friend of the artist after it had been completed. Allegro means 'merry' or 'lively', while strepitoso means 'noisily'. The theme of attack and escape is one that runs throughout Weight's work.

September 2004