Saturday, June 16, 2012

Evelyn de Morgan, The Hourglass, 1905



Evelyn de Morgan, The Hourglass, 1905

The well known De Morgan chalk portrait was a study for this oil painting. Jane Morris was a good friend of Evelyn de Morgan; at the time of the portrait, they were exceptionally close, most of her old associates having died. It is interesting to look at this portrait in connection with Rossetti's almost obsessive portraits of her.

De Morgan's sister: "In an ancient chair inlaid with ivory, a woman is seen seated. Behind her on the wall are glowing tapestries; a gold lamp of medival design is suspended above her head. Her draperies . . . are thickly sewn with pearls, the delineation of which in correct perspective constituted a tour de force. Jewels of barbaric design accentuate the richness of her attire and gleam again from her quaint head-dress, beneath which shows the first indication of age--her whitening locks. Meanwhile, with a brooding sorrow, her gaze is fixed upon an hourglass, clasped in her slender fingers, wherein the sands are swiftly running out; at her feet is a dying rose and close to her lies a book on which are visible the words Mors Janua Vitae (Death is the portal of life). So too, unheeded by her, outside the open doorway stands the figure of life the Immortal, piping, piping joyously in the sunlight in robes of azure amid the blossoming flowers of spring."

1 comment:

  1. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

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