Not on display

Maurice Greiffenhagen 1862–1931
Oil paint on plywood
Support: 959 × 2019 mm
frame: 1110 × 2172 × 76 mm
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1926

Display caption

Greiffenhagen was a stalwart of the official portrait, showing often at the Royal Academy. For twenty years he was in charge of the life class at Glasgow School of Art. Occasionally he painted religious subjects, or groups of life studies put together as a composition with some deeper but unexplained meaning. The three contrasted poses of 'Dawn' are placed artificially in a landscape, but look like a demonstration of life painting.
The Chantrey Trustees, who bought traditional paintings from the Royal Academy for the Tate Gallery collection, chose both this and another group of nudes in preference to his portraits.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

N04192 DAWN 1926
Inscr. ‘Maurice Greiffenhagen 1926’ b.l.
Oil on wood, 37 3/4×79 1/2 (95×202).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1926.
Exh: R.A., 1926 (196); Late Members, R.A., winter 1933 (321).
Repr: Royal Academy Illustrated, 1926, p.73.

The composition is somewhat reminiscent of Ferdinand Hodler's pictures ‘Night’ (1890) and ‘Day’ (1900), both in the Kunstmuseum, Bern, though the artist's son wrote (9 October 1957) that Greiffenhagen did not admit the influence.

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


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