N01756 IGNIS FATUUS 1889
Inscr. ‘Henry Pegram 1889’ b.r.
Bronze circular relief, 20 1/2×4 (52×10).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1889.
Exh: R.A., 1889 (2156).
Repr: M. H. Spielmann, British Sculpture and Sculptors of To-Day, 1901, p.96.
The 1914 Tate Gallery catalogue describes the work thus: ‘A woman sits on a throne, her right hand supporting her head; she is forsaken, like the broken bow at his feet, by the man to her right in cloak and helmet, who stretches up his arms above her towards human heads with wings of birds and bats, chimeras of his ideal imaginations and desires.’ The Latin ‘Ignis Fatuus’, literally ‘Foolish Fire’, is here used in the sense of ‘will-o-the-wisp’ or ‘idle fancy’. There is another cast in the National Museum of Wales.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II
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